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The Sale of Liquor Amendment Act 1999
The Sale of Liquor Amendment Act 1999 introduced a number of major changes to the way alcohol is allowed to be sold and consumed in New Zealand
The Sale of Liquor Amendment Act 1999 introduced a number of major changes. Two of these changes, which came into effect on 1 December 1999, concerned the minimum age that people may legally drink alcohol. Firstly, the legal minimum drinking age was lowered from 20 years to 18 years with one exception. Previously there had been a number of exceptions to the legal minimum drinking age of 20 years.

Secondly, some offences involving minors became infringement offences where the person may either be prosecuted through the court system, or an infringement notice may be issued. The infringement offences are those involving minors under 18 years old who purchase liquor on or from licensed premises, are found in a restricted area on licensed premises, are found in any supervised area on licensed premises unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, who drink alcohol in a public place while not accompanied by a parent or guardian, or who possess alcoholic drink for consumption in a public place while not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The 1999 amendment introduced a definition of 'Evidence of Age' documents. A person who is charged with selling or supplying liquor to a person under 18 years or permitting a person under 18 to be in restricted or supervised areas of licensed premises has a defence if, at the time of the offence, they sighted a recognised 'Evidence of Age' document that indicated that the person was at least 18 years old. The three recognised 'Evidence of Age' documents are a passport, a photo driver licence, or a Hospitality Association of New Zealand 18+ card.



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The Sale of Liquor Amendment Act 1999 introduced a number of major changes to the way alcohol is allowed to be sold and consumed in New Zealand

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