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Issue #9 October 2013
Almost a year on from Parliament reforming the alcohol laws, we are about to see some of the final changes come into effect on 18th December. Whilst many of the changes were not quite the reform that the Law Commission recommended and many New Zealanders indicated they wanted in their submissions, there are a number of key changes which will impact the way alcohol is both supplied and promoted in our community. This edition of our e-newsletter considers some of these changes and provides an opportunity for you to become more involved in reducing the harms from alcohol in your area. Please share with your networks as appropriate.
Mauri ora, Dave Hookway
Health promotion advisor - Alcohol and Other Drugs - NDHB
From 18th December 2013 a person can only supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years if:
· they are the parent or guardian of the minor; OR
· they have express consent from the parent or guardian; OR
· the young person is married, in a civil union or living with a de facto partner.
Anyone who supplies alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years must do so responsibly, for example by supplying food and non-alcoholic drinks and arranging safe transport. The penalty for failing to do so is a fine of up to $2,000.
Under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, if alcohol is supplied to minors, the Court can now take into consideration a number of points should problems occur.
Specifically, they can consider :
· the steps taken by the supplier to supervise the consumption of alcohol:
· whether food was provided with the alcohol:
· whether a choice of low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages, or both, was offered:
· the nature of the occasion:
· any arrangements for, or provision of, safe transport:
· the period over which the alcohol was supplied:
· the strength and volume of the alcohol supplied:
· the age of the minor:
and any other factors it considers relevant.
Further information for parents and caregivers on the supply of alcohol to minors is available in the ‘alcohol’ and ‘parties’ sections of the Whanau Pack (click the link to download)
Several new offences come into force on 18th December. These include:-
v Irresponsible advertising and promotions
The following types of promotions are offences under the new Act:
· promoting excessive drinking
· promoting alcohol in a way that has special appeal to minors
· advertising free alcohol
· advertising discounts of 25 percent or more
· offering free goods or services with the purchase of alcohol.
v Fake IDs
Presenting a fake ID, using someone else’s ID to buy alcohol and giving or lending an ID to an underage person knowing that they intend to use it to buy alcohol will be an offence.
From 18 December 2013, on-licences will have to supply or make available water (free of charge), low-alcohol beverages, food and information about safe transport. A range of other conditions can also be imposed by the district licensing committee.
National maximum trading hours for licensed premises apply from 18 December 2013:
· 8am - 4am for on-licences
· 7am – 11pm for off-licences.
Premises that currently open for longer hours will have to comply with the maximum trading hours from this date. Premises with shorter hours will continue to operate to the hours of their licence. For districts which adopt a LAP (Local Alcohol Policy) after this date, their communities will be able to have a say in other changes that may restrict or extend trading hours of premises, limit the location and density of licences and/or impose conditions on licensed premises.
Pleasure, profit and pain: Alcohol in New Zealand and the contemporary culture of intoxication. (2013)
This recently published book details the rich, complex and often contested role of alcohol in New Zealand society. It explores the three fundamental alcohol rights that continue to fight for dominance of the national drinking culture: the rights of individual drinkers to enjoy the pleasures of alcohol, the rights of society to protect itself from the harms of alcohol, and the rights of the alcohol industry to profit from the sale of a legal commodity.
This book is an essential resource for any organisation or person working in the alcohol field. It contains up to date material on the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, as well as discussing possible future alcohol harm-reduction interventions. It is also an invaluable resource for those working on developing LAPs (Local Alcohol Policies)
An electronic copy of the book is available to access free of charge for non-commercial use by clicking here.
Yet another attempt has been made to reduce the amount of alcohol New Zealanders could legally drink before driving. If supported, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway's bill would cut the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration limit) from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood. New Zealand's limit is among the highest in the world, matched only by countries such as the US and the UK.
Excessive alcohol consumption is the leading contributing factor to fatal crashes and crash injuries on Northland roads. Alcohol was a factor in 657 injury crashes (392 on local roads and 265 on state highways), representing a total of 41% of fatal and serious crashes and 26% of injury crashes in the region between 2006 and 2010 (New Zealand Transport Agency, 2011).
The Ministry of Transport in its 2010 publication Further information on the proposal to lower the adult drink drive limit to BAC 0.05 noted that “Research on the effect of alcohol on driving performance and behaviour, coupled with the gains realised in virtually all jurisdictions that have lowered the adult limit, strongly support the argument for change. A BAC of 0.05 is standard in the great majority of developed countries, and some countries have lowered their adult limits even further (e.g. Sweden and Norway).”
A review of the evidence showed “critical driving abilities such as vision, steering and braking are among the most sensitive to alcohol, and a driver with a BAC of 0.08 is significantly impaired. Evidence also shows that driving performance begins to become significantly impaired at BAC 0.05 and that the vast majority of drinking drivers are affected by alcohol at this level.”
For more information on BAC levels, click here.
Yet another study has confirmed the importance of being alcohol-free during pregnancy. Researchers from the University of Queensland have used English data to find that moderate drinking during pregnancy can affect a child’s academic performance later in life.
Some key points from the study are:
Parties are part of the fun in growing up and a good way for young people to be able to mix with others. As parents, providing some structure about how they can do this will reassure not only yourself, but also your kids that you are there for them, that you care about them, and that they have some say about their life and how they go about living it.
Alcohol does not have to be a part of young people’s social occasions. However, if you choose to agree that alcohol will be served to minors, have a look through the ‘alcohol’ and ‘parties’ sections in the Whanau pack for some ideas on keeping young people safer and how to provide boundaries around its use.
Download an electronic copy by clicking on the link or the picture above. If you would like your own personal copy of the Whanau Pack – request a copy here (don’t forget to include your name and postal address).
If you missed the online webinar for this Safe Communities presentation - you can now watch it at your leisure via this link. The online video features topics on:
· Alcohol use in young adults
· Drugs, alcohol and violence in the ED
· Communities can make a difference
The entire presentation is just over an hour long – but you can stop and revisit the video at any stage.
Compiled and produced by:
Dave Hookway - Health Promotion Advisor - Alcohol and other Drugs
Northland District Health Board - 55 Hobson Ave, Kerikeri
Postal address: - PO Box 906, Kerikeri 0230, Bay of Islands
( Ph (09) 430-4101 x 7895 | Mob 021-221-4027 or freephone 0800-537-4342 option #3
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