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Drink responsibly this Christmas


On the 7th day of Christmas . . . drink responsibly

Don't rely on alcohol to make you merry this Christmas. That's the message from Central District Police who want everyone to have a fun festive holiday, but will be treating alcohol harm and liquor ban breaches as a priority.

Operations Manager Inspector David White said: "It's not the drinking; it's how we are drinking. We expect high spirits as people take advantage of the summer festivities, but year on year there are those that take it too far, drink excessively and make very poor decisions. We won't be just standing back and letting this happen."

In New Zealand approximately one third of all police recorded offences are committed after the offender has consumed alcohol.

It is important to remember that there are a number of liquor bans in the District and consuming alcohol in those areas has consequences.

• Breaching liquor bans can lead to fines of up to $20,000. • If you are found consuming alcohol in a liquor ban area, the police can confiscate all of the alcohol and search you and your vehicle. • Anyone under 18 found drinking in a public place can be issued with a Liquor Infringement Notice which carries an instant $200. • Adults breaching a ban face prosecution. • Anyone using a fake ID or someone else's ID faces conviction and a $2,000 fine.

Throughout the summer, operations focusing on alcohol harm will be taking place across the district and just because you can't see the police it doesn't mean to say they can't see you. Full use will be made of closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) to help police deal with all alcohol-related situations and crimes. The Traffic Alcohol Group (booze bus) will also be operating and could be anywhere at any time.

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If you are going out and will be drinking alcohol: • Arrange safe transport to and from your location, whether that is a designated sober driver, taxi, bus or dial-a-driver. If you are paying for your transport, make sure that you put the money aside at the start of the evening so that you don't spend it on drink and find yourself stranded. • If you are going out with a group, stay with that group. Look out for one another. • For every alcoholic drink you have, have a glass of water or non-alcoholic drink. • Never lose sight of your drink. Although drink-spiking is rare it can happen. If you lose sight of your drink at any time throw what is left away and get a fresh one. • Never accept a drink that is handed to you by a stranger.

This advice forms part of the 12 Crime of Christmas campaign by Central District Police who wish you a very merry and safe Christmas and New Year.
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