"Ban alcohol under 18"
8 May 2007, THE HAGUE - Home Affairs Minister Guusje ter Horst (Labour PvdA) wants to raise the legal drinking age for beer, wine and alcopops to 18, the Volkskrant reports.
8 May 2007
THE HAGUE - Home Affairs Minister Guusje ter Horst (Labour PvdA) wants to raise the legal drinking age for beer, wine and alcopops to 18, the Volkskrant reports.
Young people are currently able to buy "weak" alcoholic drinks from the age of 16. She also says banning the sale of weak alcoholic drinks from supermarkets "could be a good idea."
These measures go much further than what was agreed in the coalition agreement. The government policy statement provides for stricter monitoring of enforcement of the minimum age for alcohol sales. A spokesperson for Christian democrat CDA Minister Ab Klink (Public Health) says that the minister has not yet taken a stand on the matter; he will meet with Ter Horst on Wednesday.
The PvdA minister hopes these measures could help municipalities which are struggling with large-scale alcohol abuse among young people.
During a meeting with 15 municipalities on Monday the towns pushed for stronger measures, including raising the drinking age. "The minister is in total agreement on that," said a spokesperson. "She will meet with her colleagues in Public Health and Economic Affairs as soon as possible to discuss it."
Ter Horst was also not opposed to banning sales of alcohol in supermarkets.
There has been little parliamentary support for raising the drinking age in recent years.
A spokesperson for CBL, the sector organisation for supermarkets, says that there is enough difficulty enforcing the current age limit of 16 at supermarkets. The government should focus on enforcing the existing law, the spokesperson said. "We have long been urging that the underage people buying the drink be penalised when caught. Go about tackling that first."
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news