November 2nd 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Bali: after the dust settles ...

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Vultures circle Crean after Cunningham debacle

NEW ZEALAND: US links free trade to repeal of NZ nuclear ships ban

NEW ZEALAND: Kiwibank on target for 100,000 customers

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Global systems / The splitting of the West / After the earthquake

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 'Unlawful' electoral changes: McGinty tries again

AGRICULTURE: Farmers' overwhelming support for alternate sugar package

LETTERS: Bush doctrine (letter)

LETTERS: Accepting responsibility (letter)

LETTERS: Drinking age (letter)

ECONOMICS: Getting to work on the world economy

COMMENT: Holding on to the centre

COMMENT: Monash shootings and the irresponsibility culture

COMMENT: Affirmative action illuminated

EUROPE: New members, new problems for European Union

ASIA: Behind Pakistan's Islamist revival

BOOKS: Marriage: Just a piece of paper?

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Drinking age (letter)

by Arnold Jago

News Weekly, November 2, 2002

In 1999, New Zealand lowered the legal drinking age from 20 to 18 years. Since then binge drinking, alcohol-related crime and youth hospitalisations after motor crashes have all increased.

NZ's Health Minister, James Anderton, is considering raising the legal age to 20 again.

The United States has been through much the same - many states have re-increased drinking ages. After the limit was raised from 18 to 20 in Massachusetts, single-vehicle and night-time crashes involving 18 and 19 year olds fell by over 20 per cent.

One advantage of increased limits is that young teenagers who can present themselves as being 18 have trouble convincing liquor outlets that they're 20.

Do Australia's disintegrating, drink-saturated, sozzled teenagers need similar tighter restrictions to protect them from themselves?

Arnold Jago,
Mildura, Vic

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