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New alcohol laws a timely reminder

Northland District Headquarters
88 Cameron Street, Whangarei
Monday December 23, 2013

Northland Police say the new alcohol laws are a timely reminder for people to drink sensibly over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Whangarei/Kaipara Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer Acting Sergeant Mark Andrews says Police will be conducting numerous checks on licensed premises to ensure compliance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

Mr Andrews says that, so far, the licensees are doing well in complying with the new laws. Police have also issued two or three AIONs for breaching the liquor ban.

Mr Andews says the new law has been put in place to help reduce the harm caused by excessive use of alcohol and reminds people that they need to drink responsibly.

"At this time of year with office parties, BBQs and family gatherings there can be a tendency to drink too much. This can sometimes lead to disorder or family violence.
We want to see people enjoying themselves when we visit the bars, but we don't want to end up picking up the pieces after people have had too much."

Mr Andrews says the new legislation states a parent or legal guardian are the only people who can supply under-18s. Parents or legal guardians can also give written consent for others to supply alcohol to under-18s.
"This will go some way to controlling drinking at parties and give some power back to parents when it comes to limiting drinking by young people."

Far North Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer Senior Constable Graeme Wright states that while the laws will help reduce the harm caused by alcohol abuse in public areas, home based drinking still causes a lot of problems.

"Family violence, which often has alcohol in the mix, continues to be a significant problem in Northland. Disorder at parties where people have had too much to drink is also an issue."

Mr Wright says people need to care with the amount they drink wherever they are.
"Don't drink and drive. Drinking and boating also don't mix and can have lethal consequences."

Mr Wright says the Far North gets very busy at this time of year with many visitors coming into the area.
"We want our locals, as well as visitors, to enjoy the summer in Northland. Have a good time, but look after yourselves and each other."

On December 18 the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act became law. Changes under the new law include: off-licensed premises must close by 11pm; on-licensed premises must close by 4am; Police officers can issue alcohol infringement offence notices (AIONs) for a range of offences including breach of liquor bans, lending ID to an under-18 year old and presenting a fake ID ($250 per offence); and bars that serve intoxicated people or allow them to remain on the premises while intoxicated risk a fine of up to $10,000.


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