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Police ready to enforce new alcohol laws

Police ready to enforce new alcohol laws

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 - 8:38am

National News

Police are preparing to enforce new laws that change the way alcohol is sold, supplied and consumed in the run-up to Christmas.

The new legislation comes into effect from one minute past midnight on Thursday 19 December.

The most visible changes include:

·        off-licenses must close by 11pm

·        on-licenses must close at 4am

·        Police officers will be able to issue alcohol infringement offence notices (AIONs) for a range of new offences, including breach of local alcohol bans, lending ID to an under-18 year-old, and presenting a fake ID ($250 per offence).

Bars that serve intoxicated people, or allow them to remain on the premises while intoxicated, risk a fine of up to $10,000. Police throughout New Zealand will use an “alcohol assessment tool” to make consistent assessments of whether a person is merely under the influence of alcohol or “intoxicated” as defined in the Act.

Assistant Commissioner Grant Nicholls said Police welcome the new legislation.

“Alcohol is a factor in around a third of all crime,” Mr Nicholls said. “We are serious about preventing harm caused by excessive drinking.”

“Police expect those who sell or consume alcohol to take their responsibilities seriously too. Everybody should be able to go out and have a good time, without causing harm to themselves, others or the wider community.”

Mr Nicholls said the legislation provides police officers with a range of tools to prevent the alcohol-related harm that dominates their activities every Friday and Saturday night.

“Police have been working with bars and alcohol retailers in the run-up to the changes,” Mr Nicholls said. “Especially in Auckland and Wellington, which have the highest numbers of licensed premises in a concentrated area.”

“These are new rules and we know people may take time to get used to it. We expect enforcement to be carried out with fairness and good judgement,” said AC Nicholls.

A video about the legislation and how it may affect the public is on the Police website:  http://youtu.be/ijneqzE1ViM

Fact sheets are on the Ministry of Justice website:

Changes for the public http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/sale-and-supply-of-alcohol/whats-changing-and-when/alcohol-law-changes-for-the-public-december-2013

Changes for the industry: http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/sale-and-supply-of-alcohol/whats-changing-and-when/alcohol-law-changes-for-the-industry-december-2013


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