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New Zealand Drinking Age


New Zealand Drinking Age

New Zealand Drinking Age

New Zealand’s drinking age is 18, same as that of the United Kingdom. Drinking is allowed all night when you reach this age, a fact which makes everyone very happy. Except for UK or Irish style bars, beer in New Zealand is served handles, not pints, approximately 440 ml smaller than the former.
In New Zealand, there is a wide rage of homegrown beer to choose from, so there is no shortage of variety. Some of the more popular brands are Steinlaer, Speights, Lion Red, Monteiths, Export Gold, Macs, Tui, NZ Lager, and Macs Gold. The choices will really boggle the mind.


In 1999, New Zealand’s legal age for drinking was lowered from 20 to 18, but now, according to the New Zealand Herald, lawmakers are seriously considering bringing it up again to its original limit which is 20.

A progressive Parliament member, Matt Robson was a key supporter of the law which was passed in 1999. Today, he is a leading supporter of the fight for the reversal of the law. It has been discovered that since allowing 18 year-olds drinking rights, the consequences of teenage drinking have come to plague New Zealand such as rising incidents of admissions in hospitals due to drinking and problems in alcohol addiction. 

A recent surveys shows that the majority of the citizens of New Zealand support restoring the age limit to 20.

According to a New Zealand data based study, when the legal drinking age was lowered, car crashes among the youth increased. In 1999, the legal age for drinking was lowered from 20 years old to 18 years old. The study showed that compared to four years prior to the lowering of the drinking age, the number of traffic crashes and vehicular related injuries increased by as much as twelve percent for males 18 to 19 years old and fourteen percent for males 15 to 17 years old.

In the same study, for females 18 to 19 years old the incidents rose by as much as fifty one percent and a twenty four percent increase for those 15 to 17 years old. It is estimated in the study that approximately four hundred serious injuries and twelve fatalities annually among 15 to 19 year olds could be avoided if the legal drinking age in New Zealand were increased.

One of the authors of the study, Robert B. Voas, claims that there is no better policy for safe traffic with more evidence of its efficacy than legal age drinking laws. Traffic related crashes committed by young drivers were decreasing in New Zealand when the State decided to lower the minimum age for drinking. After its decrease, the total road toll for young drivers rose radically.

According to Voas, the most dramatic was the trickle down effect that was witnessed in 15 to 17 year olds. It was clear that these teenagers were getting alcohol from their older acquaintances.

NZ Drinking

Particular attention to this study should be taken by those in the US who are pushing for the lowering of their present legal drinking age. Today, 5 US States have pending legislation to lower their current legal age for drinking which is 21.



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