READER REPORT:

Alcohol 'no excuse' for bad behaviour

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Last updated 05:00 26/12/2013
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ROBERT CHARLES/Fairfax NZ

HANGOVER: Do New Zealand's booze laws focus on the right things?

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Changing the Kiwi booze culture

I'm 19 and I don't drink. Ever. Make drunkenness socially unacceptable Alcohol not only way to enjoy life I've seen the 'social devastation' of alcohol Lessons from a reformed drunken lout Binge drinking shows 'immaturity' Drinking: People are the problem Is it the booze or the boozer? Tougher laws for drunk crime? Alcohol 'no excuse' for bad behaviour

New Zealand does have a booze problem. The peace in my town is regularly disrupted by young, intoxicated people shouting profanities, smashing letterboxes and throwing bottles.

There is a culture of excessive drinking, to the point of disablement.

However, I believe the biggest problem we have is not the alcohol, but the laws around it. Too many times I read that someone has been excused from their bad behaviour because they were drunk, and therefore unable to make good decisions.

This kind of excuse needs to be thrown away. People chose to drink, and at that moment they are making a choice that affects their later behaviour. 

We should raise the penalties for antisocial, violent and destructive behaviours for people who are intoxicated. If some drunk idiot smashes your mailbox, punish them, don't let them off. Teach people that when they choose to put that drug in their system, they better make sure they behave well afterwards.

Crash a car sober? That's bad. Crash a car drunk? That is worse. Kill someone? No excuse. That is murder, and it was from the moment the person put the alcohol into their mouth.

Stop teaching people they can opt out of responsibility.


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