KNZ gives its reaction to the proposed National Alcohol Policy

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KNZ gives its reaction to the National Alcohol PolicyThe National Youth Council (KNZ) has said in a statement today that it recognises the need to address the various problems which are arising due to over consumption of alcohol, adding that it supports a number of the policy action points which were incorporated in the National Alcohol Policy, especially those which will promise more enforcement.

"On the other hand, we are concerned that a number of action points regarding the application of further enforcement are very vague. It is in the interest of the health and safety of youth that concrete and viable proposals are brought up in the policy, especially when regarding the enforcement of such actions points, the KNZ said.

When assessing the drunk driving proposals brought up in the policy, the National Youth Council said that it would like to acknowledge that "whilst nationally reducing the drinking limits may help avoid road accidents across the country, such a change in policy will not respond to the problem without proper methods of enforcement."

The KNZ said that "it is with this thought in mind that we wish to suggest the following additions to the policy:

• Ignition interlocks may be installed in cars to measure the percentage of alcohol in a driver's breath. Interlocks keep the car from starting if the driver has a BAC above a certain level, usually 0.02%.

• Comprehensive community-based educational and mobilisation programmes, including urban planning and public transport initiatives should be implemented to reduce drinking and driving. These could also include alcohol awareness training in all in driver instructor training courses.

• School-based instructional programs are effective at teaching teens not to ride with drunk drivers. In addition to Action 8 "Action 8: Provide broad access to effective and comprehensive education geared towards primary, secondary, sixth form, vocational educational levels as well as parents on the use of alcohol, through evidence-based health promotion principles seeking to involve all educational establishments, youth organisations and professional bodies."

• Attempt to create friendly, alcohol-free places where underage teens can collectively gather.

• Server Training and Civil Liability. Training programmes for servers and bartenders which aim to prevent impaired drivers from driving by identifying impairment, refusing service and providing transportation. In addition to Actions 11 &12 "Action 11: Introduce server training as compulsory in licensed outlets. Action 12: Increase server liability (where those providing alcohol may be held responsible for consequences of inappropriate practices)."

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