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1 September 2019

Intoxicated patrons found unconscious outside Korean restaurant

Issued by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority

The licensee of a Korean restaurant in Sydney’s CBD is facing disciplinary action after two patrons became so intoxicated they were later found passed out on the road and footpath outside the venue.

The male and female patrons were part of a group of five who NSW police allege were served up to 86 standard drinks of soju over six hours at the Haru Fusion Soju Lounge in October last year.

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has imposed a strike against licensee Chris Chang under the NSW Government’s Three Strikes disciplinary scheme, and is considering further action against the Castlereagh St venue including winding back its trading hours.

At about 1.35am on 11 October, police attended to an unconscious female located outside the venue next to a pool of vomit, and an unconscious male covered in vomit nearby.

The man had earlier been lying unconscious on the road before being moved to the footpath by road workers.

The pair was part of a group of two females and three males who took part in a six hour drinking session at the restaurant to celebrate a birthday.

Man sleeping at Haru

CCTV footage indicates that a female staff member simply walked passed a male patron sleeping at a table in the restaurant and did not take any action. Another male patron fell over after losing his balance.

Man falls over at Haru

The woman found unconscious on the footpath was carried from the venue by two other patrons. Both patrons were taken to hospital by ambulance.

Woman being carried from Haru

Authority chair Philip Crawford said it would be hard to find a more serious case of a venue showing blatant disregard for responsible service of alcohol obligations.

“It is almost beyond belief that venue staff could serve such a large amount of alcohol to a group of five patrons and not take any steps to avoid extreme intoxication,” Mr Crawford said.

“The fact one of the patrons was passed out on the road highlights the risk of serious injury or death.

“The Authority will consider imposing a range of special conditions on the venue’s liquor licence, as well as winding back the venue’s trading hours.”

Licensees with strikes face a range of remedial action and those incurring three strikes can have their licences suspended or be permanently removed from the industry.

The Authority’s full report can be viewed here.

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