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Minors Able To Purchase Liquor

09:52hrs, Monday, 9 June 2008

Minors Able To Purchase Liquor

Over the previous weekend a Controlled Purchase Operation was run in the greater Auckland City area. This involved a number of under 18 year olds entering licensed premises to test the practices of the premises in relation to asking for and viewing identification.

This operation was run by the Police Liquor Licensing Staff, with the assistance of Auckland District Licensing Agency and Regional Public Health staff. These operations are used to test the operating practices of licensed premises, and this has been accepted by the Liquor Licensing Authority.

Some premises are targeted because of information received form members of the public, including that of concerned parents.

A total of 100 premises were visited over the three days, resulting in 18 premises failing the test. The operation was broken into three phases, being one area per day.

Thursday – Eastern Area

Friday – Western Area

Saturday – Central Area

On Thursday evening, 39 off license premises were visited. This involved premises such as bottle-shops, superette's and supermarkets. While the practices of some premises was good, in that they not only refused service to the minors, some observed the actions of the minors after, to ensure they would not try other means of obtaining alcohol, others were well below what was expected. A total of ten premises failed the test (25.64%).

On Friday evening, 36 off license premises were visited. A total of only two premises failed the test (5.56%).

On Saturday evening, 25 off licence premises were visited. A total of six premises failed the test (24%).

Among the obvious failures detected, a number of the premises were also identified as breaching other conditions of their licenses, from selling spirits when not permitted, to not having required Duty Managers present.

Although the stand-a-lone bottle stores are generally aware of their licence conditions and obligations, some of the superette’s still tend to treat alcohol as another commodity, similar to chips and soft-drink, and do not either care or appreciate the moral and social responsibility that goes with supplying a substance that is involved in a high percentage of violence and general offending.

The restrictions on the sale of, and the licensing requirements for the sale of liquor are there with the aim of contributing to the reduction of liquor abuse. If licensees and managers are not going to take note of these requirements, then they should not be in the alcohol supply industry.

Applications will be prepared against all premises identified for either suspension or cancellation of Liquor Licenses or Managers Certificates. These will be forwarded to the Liquor Licensing Authority for hearings to be set.

We believe that this operation was a success, and are examining further avenues of similar District Wide operations in the future.


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