Drinking age

In the minor parties debate tonight, Tariana Turia, Winston Peters and Jim Anderton supported raising the drinking age back to 20. Rodney Hide did not support this, nor did Peter Dunne or Jeanette Fitzsimons, who both pointed out that the problem binge-drinkers are the 13-year-olds, for whom alcohol is illegal anyway. In their opinion changing the drinking age would not affect this at all.

I disagree. Where are these 13-year-olds getting their alcohol from? Sometimes their parents, but not normally enough to really get them into trouble. I would suspect they are primarily getting it from 18-year-old friends.

Raising the age from 18 to 20 won’t stop 18-year-olds drinking. They have always been able to obtain alcohol from their older friends. But it will make it a lot harder for 13-year-olds to obtain alcohol, because they will usually have fewer 20-year-old friends. So raising the drinking age should be an effective way of combatting teenage alcohol abuse.

One Response to “Drinking age”

  1. Sb Says:

    This is nothing but a knee jerk reaction which is unlikely to have any beneficial action and may have very poor results.

    You underlying logic is at fault, having teens for kids I have first hand knowledge of how it works.

    “I would suspect they are primarily getting it from 18-year-old friends.” 13-15 year olds do not have 18 year old friends – ever – to large a age gap.

    First a 18 year old buys 4 box’s of beer. He sells 2-3 box’s to a 16 year old and almost recovers his purchase price. The 16 year old sells a box to a 15 year old., a 13 year old buys one bottle at a time from the 15 year old.

    See there is a trading chain. the 13 year old does not know who the 18 year old is anymore than they would know who the 20 year old is.

    This change will stretch the trading chain out but not address its existance.

    Guess the Family party does not want any teens voting for it!


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