Friday 25 January, 2013
Minister for Hospitality, George Souris, is asking NSW citizens to celebrate the Australia Day weekend safely and responsibly without excessive alcohol consumption.
Mr Souris said the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) has contacted licensed venues throughout the State ahead of the Australia Day weekend to encourage responsible service of alcohol.
"Licensees need to have appropriate measures in place to deal with the larger than normal numbers of patrons that can be expected over the Australia Day weekend," Mr Souris said.
Mr Souris said the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) will monitor the situation closely and provide a report on its compliance actions in response to any incidents.
"Nobody wants to see this national day of celebration marred by drunkenness, alcohol-related violence, anti-social behaviour or neighbourhood disturbance, so we are calling on a responsible approach from both patrons and licensees," Mr Souris said.
Mr Souris said that all licensees should implement appropriate measures to protect both individuals and the community from the potential misuse of alcohol on their premises.
"This includes ensuring adequate security, proper staff training and monitoring of responsible service of alcohol, vigilant screening of patrons for proof of age and intoxication, and strict refusal of alcohol service if patrons are approaching intoxication.
"Licensees and their staff must comply with strict responsible service of alcohol laws. It is illegal to permit an intoxicated person on licensed premises or supply alcohol to an intoxicated person with a maximum penalty of up to $11,000 applying and the possibility of incurring a strike.
"Also, patrons of licensed premises need to exercise personal responsibility by not drinking to excess and behaving in a mutually respectful manner in the true Australian spirit.
"The Liquor Act allows licensed venues to refuse entry or eject any person who is intoxicated, violent, quarrelsome or disorderly with a $550 on the spot fine or a maximum $5,500 court-imposed fine potentially applying to those refusing to leave.
"It could also become a police matter for anyone causing harm or a disturbance."
Mr Souris also warned minors using fake identification to enter licensed premises that they would be severely dealt with if and when detected.
"And bottle shops, including supermarket bottle shops, should be careful about supplying customers exhibiting intoxication and serving under age customers."