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Dunne Says It Time To Get Tough On Liquor Sales To Minors

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Peter Dunne
Peter Dunne

Wellington, March 5 NZPA - Penalties for selling alcohol to minors should be raised to the point where no one would dare do it, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

He suggested six-month suspensions of liquor licences and fines of up to $25,000.

Current penalties for an alcohol outlet stand at a fine of up to $10,000 and a seven-day suspension, or both.

Mr Dunne said he had been appalled by revelations on the Target consumer television programme of a 10-year-old being allowed to buy alcohol at a Christchurch outlet.

"Clearly, as this programme demonstrated, there are operators out there with no social conscience and, equally clearly, they are not deterred by the current penalties," he said.

"There is a simple answer: raise the penalties to a level that even the most stupid of them get the message -- you sell liquor to our young at your peril."

Mr Dunne, who is Minister of Revenue under a support agreement with the Government, said it was time to get "really tough" on the sale of liquor to minors.

"Most alcohol outlets are responsible operators but those who aren't need to be dealt with very firmly," he said.

"We need to enforce current laws and make the penalties real penalties."

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