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Miscalculation leads to sale of alcohol to minor

The inability to calculate a minor’s correct age and having poor vision are some of the reasons given by people that sold alcohol to minors in Auckland.

These incidents took place in east Auckland this month during a joint Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) between Auckland Council's Alcohol Licensing Unit, police from across Tāmaki Makaurau and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

A CPO is conducted at licensed premises to test compliance, with laws against selling alcohol to minors, under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

“One seller said she should have worn her glasses and another said that she couldn’t work out their age,” Auckland Council’s Alcohol Licensing Team Leader Anita Marsh says.

A total of 143 checks have been made at both on-and-off license premises during CPOs across Auckland this year – with 25 breaches of the Act.

Thirty one percent of on-license premises visited failed the test and the minor was able to purchase alcohol.

“It is a privilege, not a right, that licensees and duty managers are granted the ability to sell alcohol,” Auckland Police Alcohol Harm Prevention Unit Senior Sergeant Lisa Woodward says.

“And we expect them, and their staff, to take their responsibilities seriously.

“Asking for ID and then calculating the correct age from that identification are basic requirements for anyone selling alcohol.”

Date of birth charts are available free of charge (www.alcohol.org.nz/resources-research/alcohol-resources/resource-publications) and point of sale age check systems are also available (to help with the calculation), she says.


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