Issued:Tuesday, 1 September 2015
A Central Coast bottle shop has had its licence suspended for seven days under tough new liquor laws after it was caught selling alcohol to a minor, a first for a take away liquor outlet.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant said the Liquor Stax bottle shop at Terrigal will be forced to close until next Monday after the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing prosecuted the licensee selling 20 pre-mixed drinks to a 17-year- old youth.
"I make no apologies for coming down hard on licensees and staff who fail to check
IDs and sell alcohol to minors," Mr Grant said.
"It’s not difficult to ask for ID so in my eyes there are no excuses for anyone who blatantly breaks the law."
This is the first bottle shop and the second licensed venue to be closed under tough new underage sales laws which began in December last year. The Royal Hotel in Temora was closed for 28 days in June.
The offence was witnessed by OLGR inspectors on Australia Day where two 17-year- old males were sold 10 pack of bourbon and cola and a 10 pack of vodka cruisers by the licensee Mr Eddie Wu without being asked for ID.
Mr Wu pleaded guilty in Gosford Local Court on 26 June 2015 to selling liquor to a minor and was convicted and fined $1,500 and ordered to pay OLGR $750 in legal costs. The venue also incurred a strike under the Three Strikes disciplinary scheme.
Convictions for selling alcohol to minors automatically trigger consideration of a licence suspension for up to 28 days. Repeat offences can result in further sanctions including disqualification of a licensee for 12 months.
The licensee’s sale to the minor occurred despite Police previously engaging with him on at least five occasions about supply of alcohol concerns and his assurances that he always checked IDs.
In July, OLGR detected three more venues selling alcohol to under 18s, including a bottle shop in the Ryde area which served a youth who provided false age identification, and bottle shops in Eastwood and Penrith which failed to check IDs. Inquiries into these matters are ongoing.