They shouldn’t be allowed to booze until they are adults, and it seems that’s around age 24

It's because she hasn't grown up yet...

Alf has been strongly fortified in his belief the drinking age should be raised much higher than is sought by MPs who support returning the drinking age to 20.

The Sunday Star-Times had a report on the topic the other day, saying this support is gaining momentum as MPs face calls to address binge drinking.

The tossers never asked Alf what he thinks.

He happens to think the drinking age should be much higher than 20.

The drinking age was lowered to 18 in a 1999 conscience vote.

You can be damned sure Alf was not one of those who supported that move.

Now he can have another go at it, because MPs are expecting to vote on the purchase age provisions of the Alcohol Reform Bill in the next couple of months.

Health leaders are among those pressing for it to be restored to 20, saying the evidence points to that as the only option.

Alf begs to differ. No, not so. Higher, please.

He is disgusted by the antics of young people who get plastered at weekends.

And he is chuffed to find scientists have discovered a possible reason for hoonish behaviour – it’s that people don’t become true adults until they’re 24.

If that be so, the drinking age should be raised accordingly.

The Daily Mail gives us the story here

Scientists believed adolescence started with the onset of puberty and finished in the late teens. But in a series on adolescent health published in The Lancet today, researchers describe how the brain is not fully developed until the age of 24.

The research suggests the adolescent brain is ill-equipped to deal with the effects of drinking and drug-taking and less able to assess risk.

As a result more adolescents die from injury caused by accidents where, often unnecessary or excessive risks were taken, than anything else, scientists found.

According to the Daily Mail, the study found today’s 1.8 billion adolescents were more exposed to harmful alcohol consumption, sexually transmitted diseases, and other risks than in the past.

Moreover they face other new threats, including: sexting, cyberbullying, internet addiction and the so-called ‘social norms’ of suicide, self-harm and school shootings.

Alf has yet to establish what the researchers found about Kiwi teens.

But when it came to adolescent health behaviour, British teenagers were among the worst in the world.

England ranked fourth out of 40 high-income countries for the number of 13-year-olds who had been drunk, the study found. Wales came fifth and Scotland was eighth. One in five adolescents was found to binge drink on a weekly basis in the same high-income countries.

Will the Greens get the message and change their attitude to teenage boozing?

Unlikely.

As the Sunday-Star Times reported –

But politicians courting the youth vote are cautious, and the Green Party has indicated it is unlikely to back a change to move the age from 18 to 20.

You get smarter thinking from true-blue National MP Jackie Blue, who said straw polls had shown “overwhelming” public support for the age to be set at 20.

Under The Alcohol Reform Bill, 18-year-olds (they are still brats at that age) would be allowed to buy alcohol in licensed premises, but off-licence purchases would be restricted to those 20 and older.

Another solid Nat, MP Tim Macindoe, wants sales in any venue restricted to 20-year-olds and says support for the move has grown over the past three years.

The Maori Party supports raising the purchase age to 20 for both licensed premises and liquor stores.

And dear old John Banks told the SST he had warned of the “stupidity” of lowering the age initially “and now we are reaping what we have sown”.

The United Future’s Peter Dunne said he supported 18 with no exceptions.

His thinking is spurious:

“Lifting the age will prove unworkable, and the split on premises and off-premises idea will be hard to enforce. It’s likely to shift business from supermarkets to the licensed trade, with minimal impact on consumption.”

Nonsense. It was workable in the good old days when it was 21.

Drunken teenage hoons did not cause trouble in those days, the way Alf remembers (but a few decades of whisky consumption might have dulled his memory, even though he never became a drunken lout).

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