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15 July 2019

Club sold alcohol to intoxicated man who later died in car crash

Issued by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority

Wisemans Ferry Bowling Club has been penalised for serving alcohol to an intoxicated patron who later died when his vehicle crashed into a power pole.

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has imposed a strike on the club under the Three Strikes disciplinary scheme for the offence which occurred on 25 January. Further action against the club is currently being considered.

The 46-year-old man was denied service due to being intoxicated but refused to leave.

As an incentive to leave, a staff member sold the man a takeaway beer which he drank at the club.

Another staff member later sold the man more takeaway beer outside legal trading times.

A short time after leaving the club, the man died when the vehicle he was driving left Wisemans Ferry Rd and crashed into a power pole. He was the sole occupant.

ILGA chair Philip Crawford said the club clearly breached NSW liquor laws by firstly allowing the man to become intoxicated and then continuing to serve him alcohol.

“The Authority is considering further action against the club by imposing special conditions on its liquor licence,” Mr Crawford said.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations Sean Goodchild said this was a particularly serious breach of liquor laws.

“Selling more alcohol to already intoxicated patrons is highly irresponsible and can have tragic consequences,” Mr Goodchild said.

In its submission to ILGA, the club said the manager on duty when the offence occurred has since left, all staff present on the night have been given official warnings, and a new staff code of conduct has been implemented.

The former manager has also been fined by NSW Police.

Under the Three Strikes scheme, clubs with strikes face a range of remedial action and managers can face disqualification.

See here PDF, 115.75 KB for ILGA’s full judgment.

Media inquiries: Eric Aubert 02 9995 0794 or 0438 207 294