Kiwi booze culture: Cut the PC talk

Last updated 09:30 31/01/2013
Breath testing
Fairfax NZ

TIME TO GET TOUGH: The justice system's stance on drink drivers is too soft, says Ross Cowie.

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Changing our booze culture: Start with the parents Changing the booze culture: Have fun without alcohol Changing the booze culture: Time to take responsibility Changing Kiwi booze culture: Personal responsibility Kiwi booze culture: Bars must close earlier Kiwi booze culture: Cut the PC talk Kiwi booze culture: It is that bad 'I'm sick of the booze debate' Kiwi booze culture: Changes are needed Kiwi booze culture: Warning labels will work

On returning to New Zealand after living overseas for a number of years, I was stunned at how the booze culture had grown.

The ease of availability, the introduction of RTDs and the 'any excuse for a drink' attitude permeates every aspect of life in New Zealand.

The absolute carnage that is attributable to alcohol and its undisciplined consumption is frightening - not only in terms of human suffering, but also as a cost to the country. The cost in terms of our health system, police resources, social welfare, education and so on is immense.

Sadly, politicians and big business will never get serious about reforming New Zealand attitudes. There's too much self interest and money at stake. The two are bed partners from way back.

Industry self regulation is a joke. You can't get agreement on which organisation should represent the industry and police it, who will financially support it and what teeth (if any) it will have to deal with industry bad behaviour. And who's going to define what bad behaviour is?

The number of times I see recidivist drink drivers before the courts is proof enough that New Zealand is not serious about dealing with the issue. Habitual re-offenders endanger everyone when allowed to self regulate. A constant cut in police force numbers and funding is yet another example of New Zealand's lack of commitment to the problem.

Come on New Zealand, enough of the PC crap. We are the laughing stock of most developed countries who take a much tougher stance on law and order and don't treat offenders as victims. It's time to make everyone accountable for their actions and make the consequences fit the crime. It is a crime to destroy other people's lives directly or in directly.

Take licences off  recidivist drink drivers for a long time, sell or trash their vehicles and give the police full resources to deal with the issue. 

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