PREAMBLE:

The connection between drugs and alcohol abuse and crime, including family violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, home invasions, and youth crime is too great to be ignored. It is a scourge on our society and must be addressed with passion if we are to halt our self destruction as a nation.

Research commissioned by the New Zealand Drug Foundation in 2014 showed that a third of New Zealanders have a family member who has experienced negative effects in their life due to alcohol and drug use. These are alarming statistics which are only increasing annually, and which urgently require attention and action.

 SHORT POLICY SUMMARY

POLICIES

The Conservative Party is committed to:

* Supporting successful programs and organisations who work with families suffering from the negative effects of drug and alcohol addictions. It is time to break the generational cycles of substance abuse, and improve on addressing the underlying issues of addictions;

* Retaining a zero tolerance policy on all illegal substances;

* Ensuring adequate resources are available for the detection and prosecution of those who manufacture and distribute illegal substances and severe penalties are imposed on those engaged in manufacturing and supply of such substances;

* The permanent removal of all synthetic highs;

* Increasing the minimum legal drinking age to 20.

* Coming down hard on recidivist drink drivers by imposing a “lifetime zero alcohol driving limit” on anyone convicted of more than two drink driving offences, unless the offender has more than twice the legal alcohol limit, in which case an automatic “lifetime zero alcohol driving limit” sanction will be imposed. We propose severe consequences be incurred in the case of a breach of these sanctions;

* Explore the option of introducing an Alcohol Purchasing Card, similar to a Driver’s Licence Card. This Alcohol Purchasing Card would be legally required to be scanned for every purchase of alcohol, including liquor outlets and nightclubs. It would be a photo ID. Demerit points would be loaded on each card, and Police and the Courts would be able to deduct individual demerit points for any alcohol related offences such as drunk and disorderly, alcohol fueled domestic abuse, etc. Once all demerits are lost, the individual would not be able to purchase any alcohol for a substantial period of time.

* Those who are convicted of 3 or more drink driving offences are also liable for the courts to have the vehicle they were apprehended in sold. Any money recouped from selling vehicles driven by recidivist offenders would be used to increase funds towards substance abuse treatment;

* Ensuring that more of the recommendations from the Law Commission report ‘Alcohol in our Lives: Curbing the harm’ are implemented. Examples of these are:

* The excise tax on low-alcohol products up to 2.5% alcohol by volume should be removed to encourage the development of such products.

* The excise tax rate on alcohol over 2.5% should be increased by 50%, which will increase the price of alcohol by around an average of 10%.

* Review of the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 Terms of reference.

* Expanding the criteria under which a licence can be declined

* Ensuring that there is adequate funding to further implement rehabilitation centers for both adults and youth with drug and alcohol addictions. In addition, such facilities must be held accountable, with a loss of funding for those facilities which do not continually have a high success rate.  

* Reintroduce drunk and disorderly as a crime with instant fines applicable.

* Apply user pays principles to emergency department treatment of those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

* Ensure that tax revenue gathered from Alcohol sales better covers the cost of alcohol abuse to New Zealand society.

* A complete ban on Alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sports.