Councils to decide on drinking age

The cabinet has voted to let local councils decide whether to increase the legal age teenagers can buy beer and pre-mixed drinks from 16 to 18. In addition, the controls of alcohol sales in shops and cafés is to be handed over from the food inspectorate to councils, the cabinet agreed on Friday.

Home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst had previously suggested an 18-year national limit but failed to get enough support from MPs. Ter Horst said local authorities would have to work together to make sure teenagers did not cross town boundaries to buy drink where it was permitted.

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