Church leaders applaud liquor ban in Bihar, India

“The Indian state of Bihar has banned the production and sale of alcohol from April, a move that has been welcomed by church officials and women groups.

‘It is a courageous step and a big blessing for the families indeed,’ said Archbishop William D’Souza of Patna, based in the Bihar state capital.

‘It will not only reduce criminal activity and accidents in society but will also lead to a better family and social life,’said the archbishop. Continue reading “Church leaders applaud liquor ban in Bihar, India”

Alice Springs pastors against alcohol carnage

“Twenty-four Central Australian Lutheran pastors have called on government leaders to take urgent action about alcohol abuse in Alice Springs.

In a co-signed letter to federal government ministers (including the prime minister), shadow ministers, senators and senior Northern Territory MLAs, the pastors described ‘the unfolding tragedy’ in the Centre and requested the federal and territory governments to reduce the all-day trade in alcohol in Alice Springs, close ‘hidden bars’, designate one day a week on which no takeaway alcohol can be sold, and better manage welfare payments in order to restrict the purchase of alcohol.” Continue reading “Alice Springs pastors against alcohol carnage”

Tonga increases drinking age from 18 to 21!

“The House was unanimous in their support of the Bill to Amend the Manufacture of Intoxicating Liquor Act to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 years, with votes of 15-0.”

Cook Island News, 28 July 2014, Tonga raises drinking age

But in New Zealand (where the drinking age was lowered from 20 to 18 in 1999),
“A study found that after the drinking age was lowered to 18, there was a significant increase in traffic crashes among youth affected by the law change. The study found that the rate of traffic crashes and injuries to 18- to 19-year-old males increased 12 percent and increased 14 percent for males aged 15 to 17 comparing 4 years before and after New Zealand lowered the MLDA to 18. For females, the effect was even greater—rates increased 51 percent for 18- to 19-year-olds and 24 percent for 15- to 17-year-olds. The study estimated that 400 serious injuries and 12 deaths could be prevented each year among 15- to 19-year-olds if the nation raises the MLDA back to 21.”

“NHTSA estimates that minimum drinking age laws [in USA] have saved 26,333 lives since 1975 [till 2007 inclusive].” [In USA, the minimum age was increased to 21.]

Examination of the Criticisms of the Minimum Legal Drinking Age 21 Laws in the United States from a Traffic-Safety Perspective“, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Oct. 2008

NHTSA’s New Zealand source:
Am J Public Health. 2006 January; 96(1): 126–131. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.073122 PMCID: PMC1470436
Minimum Purchasing Age for Alcohol and Traffic Crash Injuries Among 15- to 19-Year-Olds in New Zealand
Kypros Kypri, PhD, Robert B. Voas, PhD, John D. Langley, PhD, Shaun C.R. Stephenson, BSc[Hons], Dorothy J. Begg, PhD, A. Scott Tippetts, MS, and Gabrielle S. Davie, MBios

“Several studies in the 1970s found that motor vehicle crashes increased significantly among teens when the MLDA was lowered.”
Australian Family Association, 21 Nov. 2011, Revisiting the minimum legal drinking age
AFA source: Shults RA, Elder RW, Sleet DA, Nichols JL, Alao MO, Carande-Kulis VG, Zaza S, Sosin DM, and Thompson RS. (2001) Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 21(4 suppl 1): 66–88.

Australian Family Association on benefits of drinking age increase

“Recent neuro-imaging studies show that the human brain is still developing through to the mid 20s. Episodes of heavy alcohol use that are common amongst young adults have detrimental implications for healthy brain development. Research shows that when the MLDA is increased to 21, people under age 21 drink less overall and continue to do so through their early twenties. Decreasing the MLDA below age 21 has also been shown to result in population increases in other alcohol-related harms including suicide and youth crime.”
Australian Family Association, 21 Nov. 2011, Revisiting the minimum legal drinking age

Teen Challenge Qld calls for drinking age to be raised to 21

“the Queensland based rehabilitation organisation sees the problem as being a result of deeper fundamental cultural issue that won’t and can’t be solved by treating the symptoms…”
“The organisations Executive Director, Joanne Hobbs, believes the most impactful way we can see a change in this culture is to include raising the drinking age to 21 as part of this strategy, and fears that if this doesn’t happen, the cost to our nation will be great.”
“Education, access to the right services and restricting alcohol promotion are all fantastic initiatives but without a hard lined approach to the drinking age, Teen Challenge Qld fears its services will be needed more, and more.”

(Teen Challenge Queensland Media Statement Issued 11 Nov. 2014)

Survey shows increasing support for increasing drinking age

“According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, support for raising the legal drinking age to 21 years has increased from around 41 per cent in 2004 to 50 per cent in 2010.”

(Australian Medical Association, 21 Oct. 2013, No Drinks Before 21: Call For Debate)

2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey Report, Table 13.4

Seeing this survey in 2010, the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appeared supportive of calls to increase the minimum age to 21 though other parties have made it official policy.

ABC News, 9 Feb. 2010, Rudd wants drinking age lifted to 21

“In WA, 64 per cent were for the limit to be increased and 36 per cent against. In NSW and Queensland, more than 66 per cent of online voters were on Kevin’s more teetotal team.”
“Many readers who backed an older age limit said it would reduce booze-soaked violence, decrease binge drinking and cut the national road toll.”
(PerthNow, 9 Feb. 2010, Increase drinking age to 21, say News web readers)

Francis Asbury: lay aside alcohol

Francis Asbury

“I have had one thought about our citizens in general. I wish they would lay aside the use of wine and strong drink in general. God would suddenly and certainly work. I am determined not to go out of my way on that matter for five hundred presidents and all the bishops in the world. I am sincerely thine.”

(Francis Asbury, 30 Dec. 1802, Letter to George Robert, Pastor of Light Street Church in Baltimore)

In 1784 John Wesley commissioned Francis Asbury to establish the Methodist Church in America.