MPs oppose alcohol ban for under-18s

Calls by home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst for a ban on alcohol sales to those under 18 are unlikely to be taken further after a majority of MPs said they do not support the plan.

MPs from Ter Horst’s own Labour (PvdA) party as well as the Christian Democrats (CDA), Liberals (VVD) and GroenLinks all said they want more effort to be made to enforce the current age limit of 16. Spirits can already only be bought by those over 18.
The minister was proposing a drastic measure to deal with a few hardcore drinkers, CDA MP Ciska Joldersma told ANP. The 16-year limit is still not properly entrenched in society and that is where efforts need to be made, Joldersma said.
Ter Horst made the suggestion at the start of a pilot project to reduce teenage drinking in Zwolle last night. She said she would discuss the possibility of introducing new measures to reduce drinking by young teenagers with health minister Ab Klink on Wednesday.
The pilot project in 12 local authority areas in the province of Overijssel gives the police greater powers to deal with teenage drinking in caf├ęs and on the streets as well as at home. This involves possibility of breathalyser tests for teenagers who cause a nuisance.
Earlier this year, the local authorities association pledged to crack down on the estimated 1,500 to 2,500 illegal bars in Holland, particularly in rural areas, where young teenagers make up a large proportion of the customers.

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