Page 1

factsheet 1

background to alcohol reform bill

It’s your turn to shout

Have your say on the Alcohol Reform Bill : Background Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout A new alcohol bill is currently before Parliament. The Alcohol Reform Bill is the Government’s response to the review of our liquor laws by Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The Law Commission made 153 recommendations but not all have been accepted. There is still time to persuade the Government to strengthen its response.

Unless a comprehensive approach is taken to addressing the problems that alcohol poses for New Zealand society, those problems will not be solved. sir geoffrey palmer

factsheets 1 Background to Alcohol Reform Bill 2 Alcohol Pricing 3 Alcohol Marketing 4 Alcohol in your Community 5 Drink Driving 6 Social Supply 7 Purchase Age

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


It’s your turn to shout key facts The misuse of alcohol is causing enormous harms across our society.

This is a once-in-a-generation chance for individuals and communities to have a say in creating better alcohol laws.

Alcohol laws play an important part in shaping the environment in which alcohol is sold and supplied.

20

WE HAVE BEEN RELAXING THESE LAWS FOR 20 YEARS.

The Law Commission has made 153 recommendations to the Government for new alcohol legislation but many of these have not been accepted.

153

RECOMMENDATIONS

How did the new liquor bill come about? ƒƒ In 2007, the Government tasked the Law Commission, an independent advisory body headed by Sir Geoffrey Palmer, to review our liquor laws. This followed increasing concerns among ordinary New Zealanders about alcohol-related harms in our society. ƒƒ During the review, the Law Commission met and talked with various people and organisations throughout the country and received nearly 3,000 submissions. “Alcohol is destroying our community. I work with families, and we can see the damage to them, to their children and to the wider community. I see it in the courts, the hospitals, family violence.” – A community worker in Otara speaks out at a consultation meeting with the Law Commission. ƒƒ In May 2010, the Law Commission released its final report to the Government. This contained 153 recommendations that are intended to work together as a mutually reinforcing package. ƒƒ In response, the Government has proposed adopting many, but not all, of these recommendations. Among those it has left out are some of the most effective policy levers to reduce alcohol-related harms, particularly around price and marketing. ƒƒ The Alcohol Reform Bill currently before Parliament must go through a Select Committee process. This is your chance to be heard by making a written submission to the Select Committee. If you make a written submission, you should also ask to make an oral presentation.

Why do we need to change our liquor laws? ƒƒ We have been relaxing our liquor laws for the last 20 years. ƒƒ The number of outlets licensed to sell alcohol has more than doubled from 6,296 in 1990 to 14,424 in 2010. ƒƒ Alcohol has become more affordable over the last decade. ƒƒ Existing laws are failing to control alcohol advertising, which continues to blatantly associate alcohol with social, sporting and sexual success. ƒƒ The Law Commission described the current situation as “the unbridled commercialisation of alcohol”. This has contributed to an environment that promotes a binge-drinking culture and has led to an increase in alcohol-related harms.

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


Positive new alcohol legislation needs to be introduced with urgency to deal with an increasingly out-of-control situation of heavy drinking in New Zealand. former governor-general sir paul reeves

How are we drinking? ƒƒ Total alcohol consumption rose by 9% between 1998 and 2008. ƒƒ 700,000 New Zealanders have been categorised as binge drinkers (consuming seven or more standard drinks per session). ƒƒ Binge drinking among teenagers is increasing. Between 1995 and 2004, the proportion of young people drinking more than six drinks on a typical occasion increased from: −−14% to 25% in 14 –15 year olds −−25% to 36% in 16 –17 year olds −−31% to 40% in 18 –19 year olds.

What are some of the alcohol-related harms to our communities? ƒƒ Each year, about 1,000 people die due to alcohol. Half of these deaths are from chronic alcohol-related diseases such as cancer. The other half are from injuries. ƒƒ Alcohol is responsible for a net loss of 12,000 years of life each year. ƒƒ In 2005/06: −−harmful alcohol use cost an estimated $4.4 billion of diverted resources and lost welfare −−there were 280,429 alcohol-related injury claims to ACC. ƒƒ Alcohol is a factor in one in three of all recorded crimes.

What should the Government do? ƒƒ The Law Commission’s recommendations were designed to be a ‘mutually supportive package’. The Government should accept all 153 recommendations instead of ‘cherry picking’ the least politically risky options, as Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer warned it not to do. ƒƒ Most importantly, the Government needs to accept the Law Commission’s recommendations for raising prices and restricting marketing. It should also lower the blood alcohol content limits for driving. ƒƒ These issues are all addressed in more detail in separate factsheets.


It’s your turn to shout

about us

What should you do? ƒƒ Have your say in creating better alcohol laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee before Tuesday 1 February 2011. This can be as short or long as you like, and you can use this toolkit to help you. ƒƒ Tell the Government that it should accept all 153 of the Law Commission’s recommendations. ƒƒ If you make a written submission, you should also make an oral presentation. You can be as creative as you like. This is your chance to tell your story about the impact of alcohol on your family and community and to tell our politicians about the changes that you want to see. ƒƒ Encourage your friends, family and community to get involved. The more New Zealanders who speak out, the more likely it is that the Government will listen. ƒƒ Ask to meet with or write to your local MP and let them know your views on alcohol law change. ƒƒ Visit www.drugfoundation.org.nz/your-turn-to-shout for more information and the full toolkit.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation has long been interested in how laws governing the sale and supply of alcohol could be strengthened to reduce alcohol-related harm and create a healthier drinking culture in New Zealand. We provide leadership and representation for our nationwide membership of organisations and individuals working on alcohol and drug issues. This factsheet is one of a number we have developed as part of a toolkit to support communities to be heard on the Alcohol Reform Bill. Check out our website for more information and the full toolkit.

It’s your turn to shout!

Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout www.drugfoundation.org.nz


factsheet 2

alcohol pricing

It’s your turn to shout

Have your say on Alcohol Pricing Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout A new alcohol bill is currently before Parliament. The Alcohol Reform Bill is the Government’s response to the review of our liquor laws by Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The Law Commission made 153 recommendations but not all have been accepted. There is still time to persuade the Government to strengthen its response.

One of the consequences of alcohol being promoted and sold at pocket-money prices is that we risk losing sight of its status as a legal drug, capable of causing serious harm to others. sir geoffrey palmer

factsheets 1 Background to Alcohol Reform Bill 2 Alcohol Pricing 3 Alcohol Marketing 4 Alcohol in your Community 5 Drink Driving 6 Social Supply 7 Purchase Age

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


It’s your turn to shout key facts Alcohol has become more affordable relative to income.

Raising the price of alcohol is one of the best ways to reduce alcohol-related harms.

62

¢

A 3L cask of white wine can be bought for as little as $16.99 (62c per standard drink).

75

%

Over 75% of submissions to the Law Commission supported increases in price (either via excise tax or minimum pricing).

What did the Law Commission recommend? ƒƒ Raising the excise tax on alcohol by 50% to achieve a 10% average increase in retail prices. They advised that this would be the most effective pricing policy to reduce harms. ƒƒ Government fully investigates a minimum pricing scheme and makes it a legal requirement for retailers and producers to provide sales and price data. ƒƒ Excise tax on low-alcohol products (up to 2.5% alcohol by volume) should be reduced to encourage the production and availability of these products.

What was the Government’s response? ƒƒ Very weak. The Government rejected all three of the Law Commission’s recommendations on pricing. It has ruled out raising excise tax and stalled for time on the idea of minimum pricing. Instead, it prefers to ‘monitor international developments’ and ‘review the information available on alcohol sales and price after one year’. ƒƒ It has rejected the Law Commission’s recommendation to make it a legal requirement for retailers to provide price and sales data. ƒƒ It has rejected the idea of reducing excise tax on low-alcohol products.

overall grade awarded

D

Fail, has shown no understanding of the issue and failed to recognise any of the requirements. Complete rewrite needed.

One thing there is literally no appetite for is to increase excise taxes. prime minister john key – within hours of the law commission’s report being released

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


A can of beer or an RTD can be bought for one or two dollars in many retail outlets. This is less than we pay for bottled water. sir geoffrey palmer

Research and experience shows: ƒƒ Alcohol has become more affordable over the last decade. Time trends in alcohol affordability 25 23

Minutes of work*

21 19 17 15 13 11 9 7 5

1999

2000

Beer

2001 Whisky

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Cask wine

*Minutes taken to earn enough (on the average wage) to pay for sufficient alcohol to reach the legal limit for intoxicated driving.

ƒƒ Cheap products are favoured by heavy, harmful and young drinkers. ƒƒ Widespread availability of cheap alcohol products encourages excessive and harmful consumption. ƒƒ Raising alcohol prices: −−is one of the best ways to reduce alcohol-related harms such as motor vehicle accidents, violence, sexually transmitted diseases and cirrhosis −−reduces consumption in high-risk groups such as heavy drinkers and the young −−reduces the likelihood of young or moderate drinkers becoming heavy drinkers. ƒƒ People who enjoy alcohol in moderation will have only minor cost increases if the Government accepts the Law Commission’s proposals. The average price of a 330ml beer would rise by just 17 cents and an $11 bottle of wine would increase by just 96 cents. ƒƒ A rise in excise tax will have net economic benefits via the reduced costs to our Police, health services and prisons – a national saving of $72 million each year.


It’s your turn to shout

about us

What should the Government do? ƒƒ The Government should accept the Law Commission’s main recommendations on pricing, including: −−increasing excise tax by 50% to achieve a 10% average increase in retail prices −−fully investigating minimum pricing schemes and making it a legal requirement for retailers and producers to provide sales and price data −−reducing excise tax on low-alcohol products. ƒƒ All revenue from excise tax on alcohol should be used to pay for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services. ƒƒ We believe there is a strong case for minimum pricing in addition to a rise in excise tax. ƒƒ The Law Commission’s recommendations were designed to be a ‘mutually supportive package’. We believe the Government should accept the Law Commission’s entire suite of recommendations instead of ‘cherry picking’ the least politically risky options.

What should you do? ƒƒ Have your say in creating better alcohol laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee before Tuesday 1 February 2011. This can be as short or long as you like, and you can use this toolkit to help you. ƒƒ Tell the Government that it should accept all 153 of the Law Commission’s recommendations. ƒƒ If you make a written submission, you should also make an oral presentation. You can be as creative as you like. This is your chance to tell your story about the impact of alcohol on your family and community and to tell our politicians about the changes that you want to see.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation has long been interested in how laws governing the sale and supply of alcohol could be strengthened to reduce alcohol-related harm and create a healthier drinking culture in New Zealand. We provide leadership and representation for our nationwide membership of organisations and individuals working on alcohol and drug issues. This factsheet is one of a number we have developed as part of a toolkit to support communities to be heard on the Alcohol Reform Bill. Check out our website for more information and the full toolkit.

It’s your turn to shout!

ƒƒ Encourage your friends, family and community to get involved. The more New Zealanders who speak out, the more likely it is that the Government will listen. ƒƒ Ask to meet with or write to your local MP and let them know your views on alcohol law change. ƒƒ Visit www.drugfoundation.org.nz/your-turn-to-shout for more information and the full toolkit.

Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout www.drugfoundation.org.nz


factsheet 3

alcohol marketing

It’s your turn to shout

Have your say on Alcohol Marketing Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout A new alcohol bill is currently before Parliament. The Alcohol Reform Bill is the Government’s response to the review of our liquor laws by Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The Law Commission made 153 recommendations but not all have been accepted. There is still time to persuade the Government to strengthen its response.

Exposure of young people to alcohol marketing speeds up the onset of drinking and increases the amount consumed by those already drinking. world health organization

factsheets 1 Background to Alcohol Reform Bill 2 Alcohol Pricing 3 Alcohol Marketing 4 Alcohol in your Community 5 Drink Driving 6 Social Supply 7 Purchase Age

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


It’s your turn to shout key facts

200 90 K

EACH DAY, $200,000 IS SPENT PROMOTING ALCOHOL.

%

90% OF OUR KIDS Aged 5–17 are exposed to alcohol advertising on TV each week.

86

%

86% of submissions to the Law Commission supported banning or restricting all advertising of all alcohol in all media.

What did the Law Commission recommend? ƒƒ The Law Commission recommended a three-stage plan to control alcohol promotions, advertising and sponsorship. The process would take five years and phase out all forms of alcohol advertising. stage one makes it an offence for off-licences to promote any event or activity that encourages excessive alcohol consumption. Promotions that specifically target young drinkers will also become an offence. stage two creates a joint committee run by the Ministers of Health and Justice. This will oversee a programme to reduce exposure to alcohol advertising and increase control of advertising content. stage three restricts the advertising and promotion of alcohol in all media. Eventually, no alcohol advertising will be allowed, except that which gives factual product information only.

What was the Government’s response? ƒƒ Weak. The Government accepted stage one of the Law Commission’s recommendations but rejected stages two and three. Instead, it is asking its officials to ‘continue to monitor the national and overseas research on the effects of exposure to advertising’.

overall grade awarded

D

Fail, has shown no understanding of the issue and failed to recognise any of the requirements. Complete rewrite needed.

Research and experience shows: ƒƒ There are clear and compelling links between alcohol advertising and its influence on young people. Advertising: −−encourages people to start drinking at a younger age −−leads young people who already drink to drink more. ƒƒ There are links between sponsorship by sportspeople and hazardous drinking. ƒƒ Sponsorship of sporting or cultural events reinforces images and messages about alcohol into culture. ƒƒ Voluntary self-regulation of alcohol advertising is not working.

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


If we really want to change our drinking culture, we need to address the environment in which our young people are continually bombarded by sophisticated marketing messages that blatantly associate alcohol with social, sporting and sexual success and encourage heavy consumption. new zealand drug foundation

What should the Government do? ƒƒ At a very minimum, the Government should accept the Law Commission’s three-stage plan to control alcohol promotions, advertising and sponsorship. ƒƒ The eventual goal should be an end to all forms of alcohol advertising. ƒƒ The Government should place external controls over the industry’s ability to advertise. ƒƒ According to the current voluntary code for advertising liquor: −− advertisements shall not be sexually provocative −− liquor advertisements shall neither conflict with nor detract from the need for responsibility and moderation in liquor consumption. ƒƒ The Government should restrict new forms of marketing that target young people using social media such as Facebook or viral text messaging. ƒƒ Alcohol sponsorship of sporting or cultural events across New Zealand should end. What does the liquor industry sponsor in your community? A snapshot of alcohol-sponsored cultural and sporting events, summer of 2010:

event Big Day Out

sponsors Smirnoff, Jim Beam, Speights Summit, Lindauer

auckland

Laneways Festival

Becks, Smirnoff

auckland

Jim Beam Home Grown

Jim Beam

wellington

NZI Wellington Sevens

Speights Summit

Rhythm and Vines

Speights Summit, Yellowglen, Harvest Cider

gisborne

Heineken Tennis Open

Heineken, Deutz Marlborough Cuvee

Bay of Island Sailing Week

Heineken, Mt Gay Rum

Wellington Cup Racing Carnival

Stella Artois

Phat 10 New Year’s Festival

Jagermeister, Speights Summit

Small Town Big Sounds

inangahua

Tui, Montana

mangitinoka

Super 14 pre-season game

Tui

blues and hurricanes, at mangitinoka

Auckland Seafood Festival 2010 Michael Hill New Zealand Open Export Gold Series Splore Festival

Macs Brewery, Glengarry, 42 Below golf

surfing

tapapakanga regional park

Allan Scott, Amisfield Wine Company, Heineken Export Gold Tiger, Cointreau, Jagermeister


It’s your turn to shout

There is a strong argument that a self-regulatory body for alcohol advertising is inappropriate. the law commission

What should the Government do? continued

about us ƒƒ The Law Commission’s recommendations were designed to be a ‘mutually supportive package’. We believe the Government should accept the Law Commission’s entire suite of recommendations instead of ‘cherry picking’ the least politically risky options.

What should you do? ƒƒ Have your say in creating better alcohol laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee before Tuesday 1 February 2011. This can be as short or long as you like, and you can use this toolkit to help you. ƒƒ Tell the Government that it should accept all 153 of the Law Commission’s recommendations. ƒƒ If you make a written submission, you should also make an oral presentation. You can be as creative as you like. This is your chance to tell your story about the impact of alcohol on your family and community and to tell our politicians about the changes that you want to see. ƒƒ Encourage your friends, family and community to get involved. The more New Zealanders who speak out, the more likely it is that the Government will listen. ƒƒ Ask to meet with or write to your local MP and let them know your views on alcohol law change. ƒƒ Visit www.drugfoundation.org.nz/your-turn-to-shout for more information and the full toolkit.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation has long been interested in how laws governing the sale and supply of alcohol could be strengthened to reduce alcohol-related harm and create a healthier drinking culture in New Zealand. We provide leadership and representation for our nationwide membership of organisations and individuals working on alcohol and drug issues. This factsheet is one of a number we have developed as part of a toolkit to support communities to be heard on the Alcohol Reform Bill. Check out our website for more information and the full toolkit.

It’s your turn to shout!

Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout www.drugfoundation.org.nz


factsheet 4

alcohol in your community

It’s your turn to shout

Have your say on Alcohol in your Community Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout A new alcohol bill is currently before Parliament. The Alcohol Reform Bill is the Government’s response to the review of our liquor laws by Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The Law Commission made 153 recommendations but not all have been accepted. There is still time to persuade the Government to strengthen its response.

It’s about encouraging social responsibility and removing the harmful consequences of the saturation of liquor stores in our communities. taima fagaloa, porirua city councillor

factsheets 1 Background to Alcohol Reform Bill 2 Alcohol Pricing 3 Alcohol Marketing 4 Alcohol in your Community 5 Drink Driving 6 Social Supply 7 Purchase Age

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


It’s your turn to shout key facts 2010

Currently, alcohol licences are easy to get and hard to lose.

The public has little or no input into where and how alcohol is sold.

1990

The number of outlets licensed to sell alcohol has more than doubled from 6,296 in 1990 to 14,424 in 2010.

24

hour

liquor licensing contributes to disorder, violence, crime and traffic accidents.

Communities are powerless to stop the increase of liquor outlets in their neighbourhoods.

What did the Law Commission recommend? ƒƒ Communities should have more input into local licensing decisions. ƒƒ Increased community say should be achieved by requiring every local authority to adopt a local alcohol policy. Local alcohol policies would be required to take into account: −−the number, type and hours of licensed premises −−the social and economic make-up of the community −−the level of alcohol-related problems in the area −−ways to manage intoxicated people in public, working with Police, ambulance and health services −−permitted areas for licensed premises and areas to be covered by a liquor ban. Outlet density Outlet density is the term used to describe how tightly liquor outlets are clustered together in a community. High outlet density means there are many outlets close together in a neighbourhood.

ƒƒ Local alcohol policies should also include a plan for reducing alcohol-related harm, local restrictions on opening hours and a list of areas where outlet density is high and no new licence applications should be accepted. ƒƒ Communities should be meaningfully involved on proposed local alcohol policies. ƒƒ Councils should involve local iwi and hapu- , Police, licensing inspectors, medical officers of health and other appropriate people when developing local alcohol policies. ƒƒ At the moment, decisions about liquor licensing are based only on how suitable the applicant is. Decision makers should also take other factors into account such as the local alcohol policy, the aim of the law to reduce alcohol harms, the impacts of an outlet on a neighbourhood and whether an applicant can handle the responsibilities that come with running a licensed liquor outlet. ƒƒ The Law Commission also recommended reducing the hours that liquor can be sold across the country so that: −−all off-licences (e.g. supermarkets and bottle stores) have to close by 10pm and not reopen until 9am −−all on-licences (e.g. nightclubs and bars) have to close by 4am and not reopen until 9am, with a compulsory one-way door policy from 2am. This means that people cannot enter after 2am but don’t have to leave until closing time.

What was the Government’s response? ƒƒ Fair. The Government largely accepted all the Law Commission’s recommendations around local alcohol policies with one important exception – they will remain voluntary. Local authorities who adopt a local alcohol policy would also need to follow guidelines suggested by the Law Commission.

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


Alcohol is destroying our community. I work with families, and we can see the damage to them, to their children and to the wider community. I see it in the courts, the hospitals, family violence. a community worker in otara speaks out at a consultation meeting with the law commission

ƒƒ The Government accepted the Law Commission’s proposals to require licensing decision makers to consider a range of factors other than just the applicant’s suitability when processing applications. ƒƒ The Government also accepted the need to restrict trading hours but suggested different hours to what the Law Commission recommended. It suggests maximum trading hours of: −−7am to 11pm for off-licences −−8am to 4am for on-licences, with a one-way door policy left up to decision makers rather than be compulsory.

overall grade awarded

B

Sufficient, an achievement that demonstrates satisfactory understanding of the issue but is only beginning to meet the requirements. A watered-down response.

Research and experience shows: If you place another liquor store in Cannons Creek, then you might as well place a bigger Police station there as well. fa’amatuainu poutoa, youth worker in porirua ƒƒ High density of liquor outlets leads to increased competition, lower prices and greater availability. When alcohol availability is high, so are rates of harm. Communities have had no power to stop increasing numbers of liquor outlets in their neighbourhoods. ƒƒ High liquor outlet density is associated with increased total Police events, including: −−anti-social behaviour −−dishonesty offences −−drug and alcohol offences −−family violence −−property damage

– – – –

sexual offences violent crime traffic offences motor vehicle accidents.

ƒƒ If local alcohol policies are voluntary, not all local authorities will develop one. Without a local alcohol policy, communities are denied the level of input needed to influence licence application decisions and the ability to retake control of alcohol harms in their neighbourhoods. ƒƒ Restricting trading hours reduces excessive drinking, targets the heaviest drinkers and has the least impact on low to moderate drinkers. It reduces alcohol-related crime, violence and road accidents.


It’s your turn to shout

Drinking, urination, rubbish, fighting, broken windows, graffiti, begging, theft will happen related to the proposed new store. Wherever there are seats and a bottle store in K Road, this happens. an auckland security guard

about us

What should the Government do? ƒƒ The Government should make local alcohol policies mandatory for all local authorities. This would: −−ensure all communities have a say about alcohol in their neighbourhoods −−encourage all local authorities to consider the nature of alcohol use in their district −−ensure the licensing process is consistent nationwide. ƒƒ The Government’s decision to broaden the factors to be considered by licensing authorities when reviewing applications is a good one. ƒƒ Taking into account the impact of any new licensed premises on the surrounding community will help prevent the clustering of alcohol outlets, reduce the availability of alcohol and reduce alcohol harms. ƒƒ The Government should accept the restricted trading hours recommended by the Law Commission and make a one-way door policy compulsory.

What should you do? ƒƒ Have your say in creating better alcohol laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee before Tuesday 1 February 2011. This can be as short or long as you like, and you can use this toolkit to help you. ƒƒ Tell the Government that it should accept all 153 of the Law Commission’s recommendations. ƒƒ If you make a written submission, you should also make an oral presentation. You can be as creative as you like. This is your chance to tell your story about the impact of alcohol on your family and community and to tell our politicians about the changes that you want to see.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation has long been interested in how laws governing the sale and supply of alcohol could be strengthened to reduce alcohol-related harm and create a healthier drinking culture in New Zealand. We provide leadership and representation for our nationwide membership of organisations and individuals working on alcohol and drug issues. This factsheet is one of a number we have developed as part of a toolkit to support communities to be heard on the Alcohol Reform Bill. Check out our website for more information and the full toolkit.

It’s your turn to shout!

ƒƒ Encourage your friends, family and community to get involved. The more New Zealanders who speak out, the more likely it is that the Government will listen. ƒƒ Ask to meet with or write to your local MP and let them know your views on alcohol law change. ƒƒ Visit www.drugfoundation.org.nz/your-turn-to-shout for more information and the full toolkit.

Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout www.drugfoundation.org.nz


drink driving

factsheet 5

It’s your turn to shout

Have your say on Drink Driving Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout A new alcohol bill is currently before Parliament. The Alcohol Reform Bill is the Government’s response to the review of our liquor laws by Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The Law Commission made 153 recommendations but not all have been accepted. There is still time to persuade the Government to strengthen its response.

factsheets 1 Background to Alcohol Reform Bill 2 Alcohol Pricing

Current BAC limits are ‘ridiculous’. minister of transport hon steven joyce 9 september 2009

3 Alcohol Marketing 4 Alcohol in your Community 5 Drink Driving 6 Social Supply 7 Purchase Age

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


It’s your turn to shout key facts

80

MG PER 100ML OF BLOOD

The current blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

50

MG PER 100ML OF BLOOD

a BAC limit of 50mg or less is standard in most other countries.

1530 TO

LIVES SAVED

Lowering the adult BAC limit to 50mg would save between 15 and 30 lives and prevent between 320 and 686 injuries every year.

What did the Law Commission recommend? ƒƒ Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits for driving should be reduced from 80 to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for adult drivers. ƒƒ The limit should be zero for drivers under 20 years of age. ƒƒ Alcohol interlock devices should be considered for all convicted drink drivers. These devices require the driver to provide an alcohol-free breath sample before the vehicle can be started.

What was the Government’s response? ƒƒ Poor. The Government opted not to change the adult BAC limit, leaving it at 80mg for adult drivers. Instead, it has requested two years of research on crash-involved drivers with BAC levels between 50 and 80mg. It says New Zealand-specific research is required before any changes are made. ƒƒ The Government has adopted a zero BAC limit for drivers under 20 years of age. They have also adopted the recommendation for alcohol interlock devices.

overall grade awarded

C

Not achieved, demonstrates a limited understanding of the issue and the correspondinzg requirements. More effort required.

Research and experience shows: ƒƒ Lowering the adult BAC limit to 50mg would save between 15 and 30 lives and prevent between 320 and 686 injuries every year. ƒƒ There are nearly 300 international studies examining BAC levels and driving ability. They overwhelmingly show that the more alcohol a driver has consumed, the higher their crash risk. ƒƒ Every 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood is associated with a near doubling of crash risk. At the current rate of 80mg, a driver is twice as likely to crash as a driver at 50mg.

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


85

%

2

x

At the current BAC limit, a driver is twice as likely to crash as a driver at 50mg.

of New Zealanders support lowering the BAC limit to 50mg or less.

Risk of crashing by BAC level and age of driver 200 Current youth BAC limit

180

Internationally recommended limit

Increase in risk (%)

160

Current adult BAC limit

140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

140

150

BAC (mg/100ml) 15–19 years

20–29 years

30+ years

ƒƒ Young people are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol and are less experienced drivers. They are at significantly increased risk of crash even at very low BAC concentrations. ƒƒ It is easier to keep track of how many drinks you’ve had when keeping below 50mg. This is about two cans of beer drunk by an average-sized adult male in one hour. People intending to keep below a limit of 80mg are more likely to lose count of their drinks. ƒƒ Most New Zealanders support a legal BAC limit of 50mg. When asked how much alcohol should be safe to drink before driving, 85% of those surveyed answered two drinks or less. This is equivalent to a BAC limit of 50mg. ƒƒ A BAC limit of 50mg or less is standard in most other developed countries including Australia. Places that have lowered the BAC limit have experienced reductions in drinking and driving and alcohol-related deaths and injuries. ƒƒ Alcohol interlocks can be an effective tool for managing recidivist drink drivers, but they are only effective in the long term if the underlying alcohol problem is addressed. Otherwise, they only work for the duration they are installed in the offender’s vehicle.


It’s your turn to shout

about us

What should the Government do? ƒƒ The Government should immediately lower the adult BAC limit to 50mg per 100ml. There is ample research evidence, applicable to New Zealand, to support this change. ƒƒ The Drug Foundation fully supports the Government’s decision to reduce youth BAC limits to zero. This sends a clear message to young people that, if you drink any alcohol, you should not drive. ƒƒ We also support the Government on the introduction of alcohol interlocks for repeat drink drivers. However, repeat drink driving offences are often a sign of an underlying drinking problem. Ensuring that treatment is available to recidivist drink drivers should be a priority.

What should you do? ƒƒ Have your say in creating better alcohol laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee before Tuesday 1 February 2011. This can be as short or long as you like, and you can use this toolkit to help you. ƒƒ Tell the Government that it should accept all 153 of the Law Commission’s recommendations. ƒƒ If you make a written submission, you should also make an oral presentation. You can be as creative as you like. This is your chance to tell your story about the impact of alcohol on your family and community and to tell our politicians about the changes that you want to see. ƒƒ Encourage your friends, family and community to get involved. The more New Zealanders who speak out, the more likely it is that the Government will listen. ƒƒ Ask to meet with or write to your local MP and let them know your views on alcohol law change.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation has long been interested in how laws governing the sale and supply of alcohol could be strengthened to reduce alcohol-related harm and create a healthier drinking culture in New Zealand. We provide leadership and representation for our nationwide membership of organisations and individuals working on alcohol and drug issues. This factsheet is one of a number we have developed as part of a toolkit to support communities to be heard on the Alcohol Reform Bill. Check out our website for more information and the full toolkit.

It’s your turn to shout!

ƒƒ Visit www.drugfoundation.org.nz/your-turn-to-shout for more information and the full toolkit.

Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout www.drugfoundation.org.nz


factsheet 6

social supply

It’s your turn to shout

Have your say on Social Supply Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout A new alcohol bill is currently before Parliament. The Alcohol Reform Bill is the Government’s response to the review of our liquor laws by Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The Law Commission made 153 recommendations but not all have been accepted. There is still time to persuade the Government to strengthen its response.

People need to think about how they are introducing their children to alcohol. They have to think what the effects of them as role models are. Children learn by example, and some of the examples are not good. sir geoffrey palmer

factsheets 1 Background to Alcohol Reform Bill 2 Alcohol Pricing 3 Alcohol Marketing 4 Alcohol in your Community 5 Drink Driving 6 Social Supply 7 Purchase Age

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


It’s your turn to shout key facts under

18

MINORS = YOUNG PEOPLE AGED UNDER 18 YEARS. EXISTING CONTROLS ON THE PRIVATE SUPPLY OF ALCOHOL TO MINORS ARE LIMITED.

PARENTS, OLDER BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AND FRIENDS ARE MAJOR SOURCES OF ALCOHOL SUPPLY FOR MINORS.

THERE ARE NO LEGAL RESTRICTIONS ON HOW ALCOHOL IS SUPPLIED TO MINORS AT PRIVATE FUNCTIONS SUCH AS AFTER-BALL PARTIES.

IT IS CURRENTLY AN OFFENCE TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL WITH THE ‘INTENT TO SUPPLY’ IT TO A MINOR, BUT NOT IF THE BUYER IS THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN OR THE ALCOHOL IS FOR A ‘PRIVATE SOCIAL GATHERING’.

What did the Law Commission recommend? Many parents do not want to lose their right to introduce their child to alcohol in a responsible manner but are frustrated at being unable to prevent others from supplying alcohol to their children, often with no adult supervision. ƒƒ The Law Commission recognised the rights and responsibilities of parents with respect to the supply of alcohol to minors. ƒƒ The Law Commission recommended that it be an offence for any person who is not the parent or guardian to supply alcohol to someone under the age of 18, UNLESS: −−they have got consent (orally or in writing) from a parent or guardian, AND −−the alcohol is supplied in a responsible manner. ƒƒ Supplying alcohol in a responsible manner means taking into account factors such as: −−adequacy of adult supervision −−age of minors present −−quantity and duration of alcohol supplied −−presence of intoxication −−availability of food. ƒƒ A parent or guardian would not be responsible if a minor had acted without their knowledge or against their instructions. ƒƒ The Law Commission acknowledges concerns about how consent and supervision will be enforced. ƒƒ If the purchase age is raised to 20, these recommendations will apply only to those under 18 because the legal responsibilities of parents and guardians end once children turn 18.

What was the Government’s response? ƒƒ Very good. The Government accepted the Law Commission’s proposals for strengthening controls on supply of alcohol to minors. It noted that Police would have discretion not to prosecute and believes this will give protection to low-level, low-harm supply and avoid over-interference in people’s private lives.

overall grade awarded

A www.drugfoundation.org.nz

Good, an achievement that demonstrates substantial knowledge of the issue and has responded to a significant proportion of requirements. Nearly there – good work.


This is really a delicate balance because National is not in the business of getting into people’s homes on issues like this and telling them how to run their lives. hon simon power on social supply laws

Research and experience shows: ƒƒ Parents, other family members and friends are the main sources of alcohol supply to minors. ƒƒ The risk of harm for minors is reduced when parents are involved and there is adult supervision. ƒƒ Young people drink more when alcohol is supplied by friends than by parents. −−Minors are more likely to consume larger amounts of alcohol at someone else’s home (61%) than in their own home (21%). −−Parents were the most common source of supply to minors who drank less than two standard drinks, while friends were the most common source of supply to minors who drank six or more drinks, on a single occasion. ƒƒ Parents have a great influence on young people’s drinking. This influence is more positive when communication channels are clear, there is positive role modelling in the home and alcohol-specific boundaries are put in place. ƒƒ Delaying the age of alcohol initiation helps reduce harmful drinking. ƒƒ Police often respond to out-of-control parties where alcohol has been supplied by adults to other people’s children, yet find it difficult to investigate or prosecute the supplier under existing law.

What should the Government do? ƒƒ Follow through on its decision to accept the Law Commission’s proposals for strengthening the controls on supply of alcohol to minors by including this in the new alcohol law. This will give parents and other adults more support and clarity about their rights and responsibilities around supplying alcohol to their own and other children. ƒƒ Invest adequate resources to ensure parents understand the critical role they play in introducing their children to alcohol, including the importance of role modelling and responsible supply. ƒƒ Enforce the new laws in a way that Police discretion is not used to unfairly target particular socio-economic or ethnic groups.


It’s your turn to shout

about us

What should you do? ƒƒ Have your say in creating better alcohol laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee before Tuesday 1 February 2011. This can be as short or long as you like, and you can use this toolkit to help you. ƒƒ Tell the Government that it should accept all 153 of the Law Commission’s recommendations. ƒƒ If you make a written submission, you should also make an oral presentation. You can be as creative as you like. This is your chance to tell your story about the impact of alcohol on your family and community and to tell our politicians about the changes that you want to see. ƒƒ Encourage your friends, family and community to get involved. The more New Zealanders who speak out, the more likely it is that the Government will listen. ƒƒ Ask to meet with or write to your local MP and let them know your views on alcohol law change. ƒƒ Visit www.drugfoundation.org.nz/your-turn-to-shout for more information and the full toolkit.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation has long been interested in how laws governing the sale and supply of alcohol could be strengthened to reduce alcohol-related harm and create a healthier drinking culture in New Zealand. We provide leadership and representation for our nationwide membership of organisations and individuals working on alcohol and drug issues. This factsheet is one of a number we have developed as part of a toolkit to support communities to be heard on the Alcohol Reform Bill. Check out our website for more information and the full toolkit.

It’s your turn to shout!

Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout www.drugfoundation.org.nz


factsheet 7

purchase age

It’s your turn to shout

Have your say on Purchase Age Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout A new alcohol bill is currently before Parliament. The Alcohol Reform Bill is the Government’s response to the review of our liquor laws by Law Commission President Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The Law Commission made 153 recommendations but not all have been accepted. There is still time to persuade the Government to strengthen its response.

In the decade since the age was lowered to 18, Police believe the de facto drinking age has dropped to 14 or 15 – ages at which regular alcohol consumption is associated with real risks of both shortand long-term harms. law commission researcher cate brett

factsheets 1 Background to Alcohol Reform Bill 2 Alcohol Pricing 3 Alcohol Marketing 4 Alcohol in your Community 5 Drink Driving 6 Social Supply 7 Purchase Age

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


It’s your turn to shout key facts The current purchase age for alcohol is 18 years.

Since the purchase age was lowered from 20 years in 1999, the level of alcohol-related harm experienced by young people has increased.

Young people are starting to drink even earlier than they did a decade ago.

8 IN 10 young people aged 16–17 have consumed alcohol in the past year.

On-licence premises are not always the safe and supervised environments that they are sometimes made out to be.

78

%

of submissions to the Law Commission supported increasing the minimum purchase age.

What did the Law Commission recommend? ƒƒ The purchase age for alcohol be raised to 20 years with no exceptions.

What was the Government’s response? ƒƒ Not quite there. The Government recommend introducing a split purchase age of 18 years for on-licences (e.g. bars and nightclubs) and 20 years for off-licences (e.g. bottle stores and supermarkets). It considers this would reduce alcohol-related harms associated with drinking off-premises, especially the practice of ‘pre-loading’. It also points to the reduced opportunity for supply by 18 and 19 year olds to younger peers.

overall grade awarded Purchase age versus drinking age? New Zealand has a purchase age, not a drinking age. This means only those aged 18+ can buy alcohol. People under 18 can still legally drink in certain private settings. A drinking age of 18 would make it illegal for those under 18 to drink any alcohol.

B

Sufficient, an achievement that demonstrates satisfactory understanding of the issue but is only beginning to meet the requirements. A watered-down response.

Raising the purchase age would, however, potentially affect the current rights of around 132,000 18 and 19 year olds. The market of potential purchasers would be reduced, which may have some impact on the industry, particularly off-licences. cabinet paper outlining the government’s response

www.drugfoundation.org.nz


While 70% of liquor is consumed off licensed premises, over 50% of offending linked to alcohol as an aggravator can be traced back to licensed premises. gavin campbell, manukau police

Research and experience shows: ƒƒ Drinking at a young age is a risk factor for alcohol-related harms as a young adult and later in life. ƒƒ Since the purchase age was lowered from 20 to 18 in 1999: −−there has been a significant increase in intoxicated people under 20 presenting to hospital −−there has been an increase in alcohol-related crashes among 15 to 19 year olds −−young people are starting to drink at an even earlier age. ƒƒ In a recent survey, eight in 10 people aged 16–17 years had consumed alcohol in the past year, with 71% of these consuming a large amount at least once and 36% drinking at least weekly. ƒƒ International evidence shows that raising the purchase age reduces adolescent access to alcohol, reduces harmful youth drinking and raises the age at which young people start drinking. ƒƒ The Law Commission considered the idea of a split purchase age but rejected it, as there is no evidence that on-licences provide a lower-risk drinking environment. −−A significant proportion of serious assaults occur in and around on-licensed premises. −−A split purchase age is difficult to enforce and sends out conflicting messages. ƒƒ Since 1999, new research has shown that the brain continues to develop until well into a person’s 20s. Drinking alcohol at a young age harms the developing brain.

What should the Government do? ƒƒ Listen to the evidence and accept the Law Commission’s recommendation to return the purchase age back to 20, with no exceptions. ƒƒ Treat purchase age as a health and social policy issue rather than a conscience issue when voting in the House. ƒƒ Make alcohol policy on the basis of the evidence and experience rather than on what might be popular. ƒƒ Not allow its concern for the drinking and voting rights of young people to over-ride the real and significant harms that have occurred since the lowering of the purchase age. ƒƒ The Law Commission’s recommendations were designed to be a ‘mutually supportive package’. We believe the Government should accept the Law Commission’s entire suite of recommendations instead of ‘cherry picking’ the least politically risky options.


It’s your turn to shout

about us

What should you do? ƒƒ Have your say in creating better alcohol laws by making a written submission to the Select Committee before Tuesday 1 February 2011. This can be as short or long as you like, and you can use this toolkit to help you. ƒƒ Tell the Government that it should accept all 153 of the Law Commission’s recommendations. ƒƒ If you make a written submission, you should also make an oral presentation. You can be as creative as you like. This is your chance to tell your story about the impact of alcohol on your family and community and to tell our politicians about the changes that you want to see. ƒƒ Encourage your friends, family and community to get involved. The more New Zealanders who speak out, the more likely it is that the Government will listen. ƒƒ Ask to meet with or write to your local MP and let them know your views on alcohol law change. ƒƒ Visit www.drugfoundation.org.nz/your-turn-to-shout for more information and the full toolkit.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation has long been interested in how laws governing the sale and supply of alcohol could be strengthened to reduce alcohol-related harm and create a healthier drinking culture in New Zealand. We provide leadership and representation for our nationwide membership of organisations and individuals working on alcohol and drug issues. This factsheet is one of a number we have developed as part of a toolkit to support communities to be heard on the Alcohol Reform Bill. Check out our website for more information and the full toolkit.

It’s your turn to shout!

Have your say on alcohol law changes. submissions close on

01 02 11 drugfoundation.org.nz/ your-turn-to-shout www.drugfoundation.org.nz

Have your say on the Alcohol Reform Bill  

A toolkit for communities