Blaming the drinking age?

The HoS reports:

His son was killed by a teen driver who broke every rule. Now a grieving dad wants the raised – and his plea comes as the Government gives its strongest signal yet of major changes to driving and liquor laws.

Gerald Fluerty lost his son Ezra, 19, in an accident that “had all the ingredients for disaster”.

“I think these young people, at 18, just don’t have the ability to make the right decision on their own.”

Driver Maia Thorby, 18, struck a power pole while speeding on a learner licence in a car with no warrant or registration. He was four times the legal alcohol limit and had been smoking cannabis. …

Donald said she wanted to see the drinking age increased and for young drivers to get more education before they took to the roads on their own.

“They also need to be taught how to drink in moderation.”

One can only have the deepest sympathy for any parent who loses their child in a road accident – especially one caused by a young drunk and stoned driver.

But that does not mean that their identification of the alcohol purchase age is logical.

Let us look at what the the 18 year old driver did that night:

  • He broke the law by driving at night on a learners licence
  • He broke the law by driving with passengers on a learners licence
  • He broke the law by driving a car with no warrant
  • He broke the law by driving a car with no registration
  • He broke the law by speeding
  • He broke the law by smoking cannabis
  • He broke the law by driving with a blood alcohol four times the legal limit
  • He broke the law by driving stoned

Now I’m sorry but does anyone rationally think that making it illegal to purchase alcohol at 18 or 19 would have in anyway affected what happened? I mean you can’t even buy cannabis legally at any age, and they managed to get some.

If an 18 year old has absolutely no regard for the law, for basic safety, and is the sort to drive while stoned and pissed, then the age of alcohol purchase is not what needs to change.

The vast majority of 18 and 19 year olds appreciate being able to have a wine with dinner, go out nightclubbing or buy some beers at the supermarket to take home for the rugby. Turning all of them into criminals is not the answer to the problems caused by the minority. Especially when a law change would probably have made absolutely no difference to the outcome in this tragic case.

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