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Don’t Serve Drunks says ALAC

Alcohol Advisory Council
Press release
Wednesday 15 October 2003

Don’t Serve Drunks says ALAC

The liquor industry has been jolted this week into addressing the issue of selling alcohol to minors, says the Alcohol Advisory Council.

ALAC Acting Chief Executive Paula Snowden now wants the same spotlight put on premises serving drunks.

Recent Liquor Licensing Authority (LLA) decisions - including the 11 day closure penalty imposed on the high profile Auckland waterfront restaurant Mikano and the suspension of licences for three Auckland outlets for serving alcohol to underage drinkers - has put the focus on serving alcohol to minors.

“The publicity surrounding that case and others has served as a much needed wake up call for many in the industry,” says Paula Snowden.

“All outlets serving alcohol - whether they are a top restaurant, a supermarket or the local bottle store - must have procedures in place to check young people’s identification and many do and are doing a great job. If they don’t and they are caught, the LLA has shown it is prepared to impose significant financial penalties.“

Paula Snowden said she was pleased to see the comments from some of the outlets affected who admitted they slipped up, and have acted to improve their systems.

“What I would also like to see is a similar vigilance ensuring intoxicated people are not served alcohol on licensed premises.

“Just this year we see the LLA suspending a general manager’s certificate for three months after a young man was killed after being hit by a car after an evening of drinking at the Novotel Ellerslie in Auckland.

“In that decision, the Authority reiterated its view the sale of supply of alcohol to an intoxicated person, or allowing such a person to remain on licensed premises ‘is viewed extremely seriously’.

“We know that there are establishments that refuse entry or service to intoxicated people. They are to be congratulated

“We believe there will be an improvement in New Zealand's harmful drinking patterns when New Zealand changes its culture of binge drinking.

"Until we change this mentality and make people, both adults and youth, aware of the dangers of binge drinking, we will make little progress.

“Bar and licensed restaurant owners, managers and staff who have a legal obligation not to serve intoxicated people can help achieve this cultural change and improve the quality of life for all New Zealanders.”

ENDS

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