The laws against young people drinking are contained in the SALE OF LIQUOR ACT 1989.
The legal drinking age was lowered from 20 years to 18 in 1999. It is therefore legal for people who are 18 or older to buy alcohol in a pub, bar or bottle store and even to work in a job that requires them to sell alcohol.
If you buy alcohol when you're under 18 you can be fined up to $2,000. The person who served you and the owner or manager can also be fined.
It's not illegal for a person under 18 to buy alcohol at the request of a Police officer.
If you buy alcohol you may be asked to show an official Evidence of Age document, such as a driver's licence or passport, or the "18+ Evidence of Age Document" produced by the Hospitality Association (HANZ).
If you're 18 or older you're allowed to be in any licensed premises â€“ that is, pubs, bottle stores, clubs and all other places licensed to sell alcohol.
As for people under 18, it depends on the particular type of area they are in within the licensed premises:
It's not illegal for a person who's under 18 to be in a restricted area or to be unaccompanied in a supervised area if they're doing this at the request of a Police officer.
Note that the differences in the laws for the three types of area explained above are mainly to do with whether or not a person under 18 is allowed to be there. Just because you're allowed to be there doesn't mean you're allowed to buy alcohol there: if you're under 18, you're not allowed to buy alcohol anywhere.
No, this is illegal, unless you're their parent or guardian or the alcohol will be drunk at a private gathering. The person buying the alcohol can be fined up to $2,000.
Yes, it's legal for parents to allow their under-age child to drink at home or any other private place.
The Police are allowed to go into any pub or other licensed premises to inspect it. If they think you're under 18, they can require you to give them your name, address and date of birth. If you refuse, the Police can caution you, and if you still refuse, arrest you. You can be fined up to $1,000 for refusing or for giving false information.
In general you must be 18 or older to work in a restricted area such as a pub or bottle store. There are exceptions for:
It's an offence, punishable by a fine of up to $300, for someone under 18 to drink in a public place, or to be in a public place with alcohol that they intend to drink there, unless they are with a parent or guardian.
Alcohol abuse can easily become a problem for teenagers and it can also very often lead to criminal convictions. There are many organisations and services that parents or teenagers themselves can contact to obtain help, including:
Check your local phonebook for the contact details for these services in your particular area.
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