Alcohol law changes for under 18s
Anyone hosting Christmas or end-of-year functions after 18 December needs to be aware of the changes to the law around the supply of alcohol to under-18s.
On 18 December, new legislation for supplying alcohol to under-18s comes into effect.
Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, it will be illegal to supply alcohol to someone under the age of 18 unless you are their parent or legal guardian or you have genuine consent from their parent or legal guardian via a conversation, an email or a text message.
The new law also requires people to supply alcohol in a responsible manner, such as:
- supervising the consumption of alcohol
- providing food and low-alcohol and/or non-alcoholic drinks
- ensuring safe transport options are in place
- considering the
- nature of the occasion
- timeframe over when alcohol is supplied
- strength and amount of alcohol supplied
- age of the minor.
The law changes won't just affect parents and guardians of under-18s. Young adults supplying alcohol to friends or family members who aren't yet 18 will need to follow the same rules. Those who ignore the law could face a fine of up to $2,000.
"It means people are going to have to be way more responsible and involved when it comes to young people under the age of 18 consuming alcohol in our community," says Councillor Janet Holborow.
"However the advice we've been given from the Health Protection Agency is that the safest option for under-18's is not to drink alcohol at all, as it may affect their developing brains. Research also shows that the younger teenagers start drinking, the more likely it is they will go on to drink harmfully in later life."
Visit http://www.alcohol.org.nz/ or call 0800 787 797 for more information about the law on supplying alcohol to under-18s. For information on other changes in the new Act, go to www.justice.govt.nz/policy/sale-and-supply-of-alcohol