Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Australia and New Zealand Alcohol Induced Violence Blitz

Over this weekend police in Australia and NZ are running a blitz on "alcohol fuelled violence". They are out in force cracking down on people engaging in drunken behaviour and violence.
First thing to say is that I like a drink as much as anyone else I've met. But this situation, in Melbourne at least, is out of hand. We keep reading about manslaughter in close proximity to licensed premises, bashings....on and on. I live very close, read very close, to 8 licensed premises. Barely a weekend goes by that someone doesn't vomit in the lane-way or have a massive, alcohol fired, domestic dispute at 3:00am. Fights, drag races, shouting, name it it happens.
So what I want explained to me is this: the law in this State says that it is illegal to serve a person who is intoxicated. In fact I think it might be illegal to be on a licensed premises if you are intoxicated. So the people who are gob-smackingly drunk, falling over, vomiting, fighting, screaming drunk - somebody has served them alcohol to get like that. I'm not talking one or two people. I'm talking lots of people every weekend. So why aren't the licensing laws being properly enforced? The fines for non-compliance are big, you can lose your license and you can be shutdown for periods of time - like a suspension. So why aren't these laws being enforced?
I know that this isn't a solution to our drinking issues, that needs cultural change. What I do know is that if you can't get a drink when you shouldn't then you are less likely to be roaming the streets drunk and you are less likely to engage in acts of violence, public domestic disputes, vomiting... That makes it less likely that we will have the problems we currently have. So as far as blitzes are concerned what about having a real blitz on licensees? Let's take the law seriously and stop serving people who have had too much. Let's get the drinkers out of the premises and on their way home before they have too much. That way we might all get some peace.
Happy Christmas!!

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