05 November 2013

New liquor laws introduced in Parliament yesterday [Monday 4 November] are a welcome step towards helping New Zealand tackle some of the problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption, says the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).

NZMA Chair Dr Mark Peterson welcomed the proposed new limit of 50mg per 100 millilitres of blood, down from the current limit of 80mg. Legislation to introduce the new limit is expected before Christmas.

“We are pleased the Government is recognising the dangers posed by excessive alcohol consumption – both to drinkers and those around them.

 “The NZMA remains strongly committed to raising the level of professional awareness of medical practitioners to achieve early detection and treatment for patients who may have problems with alcohol.

“The harmful effects of alcohol in New Zealand have long been underestimated and there is widespread ignorance of the damaging effects of excessive alcohol consumption on both the individual and society. The move to lower the permissible blood alcohol level is an acknowledgement of this – and a reminder that we still have some way to go.”