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Monday, November 8, 2010

Alcohol Tax to Combat Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is a major problem that exists on both sides of the Atlantic and there are many who feel that if the price of liquor was sharply increased binge drinking would occur much less. Binge drinking tends to occur much more with the younger generation typically those young adults who are in college where peer pressure is enormous. There have been a number of campaigns in the past to combat the problem with very little success, so with very few solutions at hand raising the price of alcohol dramatically may be the only answer. Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell is suggesting higher tax on alcohol would be heading in the right direction to combat this problem, which he says works well in other countries where binge drinking is not an issue.

The price of alcohol in most parts of the western world is fairly inexpensive, for everyone can acquire quite a bit of alcohol. According to Bell, the cost of alcohol needs to be raised higher than "pocket-money prices". Just yesterday the proposed new alcohol laws were given to parliament and could take as long as six months for everything to be figured out according to Justice Minister Simon Power.

The proposals include:
  • splitting the alcohol purchasing age to 18 for bars and 20 for off-licenses
  • limiting the alcohol content of Ready-to-drink's (RTDs)
  • banning particularly harmful products
  • reducing opening hours
  • new rules around the supply of liquor to minors
"This government sees overhauling our alcohol laws as a priority, particularly for addressing the drivers of crime because alcohol is a major lubricant for offending," Power said. The United States should follow suit, raising the price of alcohol would greatly reduce the ability for people to binge drink; in turn this will end up saving lives both on and off the road. The time to get serious about reform is upon us, people are dying and we have the power to change that.


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