Responsible Service of Alcohol Update: Combating Alcohol Fuelled Misconduct Dependent on Enforcement of RSA
The level of alcohol fuelled misconduct in entertainment districts across Oz has gotten to an extremely worrying extent.
There have been various initiatives to try and combat this unacceptable behaviour. The Byron Bay Liquor Accord is an example of one of these initiatives. The group, representing 71 liquor outlets in the town have released plans for a 6 month trial of its plans, including a 1:30 am lockout and a ban on jugs, shots or wine casks over 2litres.
An article from Abc.net.au explains more about the Accord and the situation in general:
The accord’s Hannah Spalding says the new measures are in some cases even stricter than Newcastle’s Last Drinks campaign.
“I definitely think there’s a great deal of concessions that the liquor industry has made, a lot of the terms that we’ve put in place are stricter than those adhered to by Newcastle and Sydney,” she said.
“What I have heard from the community (is) that they would like equal or more serious measures than say Newcastle.
“The accord is really positive about the step forward and in conjunction with police and council all sticking together and taking the right action we can curb the issues in Byron Bay.”
But Byron Bay youth worker NicquiYazdi says the new restrictions won’t solve all the town’s problems with anti-social behaviour.
She says they’re great strategies, but only address part of the problem.
“I don’t believe that the violence that happens in Byron is all about the venues,” Ms Yazdi said.
“When you look at where a lot of the violence occurs, it’s actually occurring on the streets.
While members of the public are divided about whether plans such these will help reduce alcohol related violence or not, responsible service of alcohol enforcement is still mandatory under state law and when implemented efficiently should in theory bring down the numbers of alcohol fuelled assaults, brawls and general misconduct in entertainment districts. RSA staff have an important role to play in minimising the violence experienced on the streets.
While many RSA staff may be of the opinion that it’s just none of their business how much alcohol a patron consumes, according to the law they have a responsibility to never serve alcohol to unduly intoxicated patrons. The consequences of serving unduly intoxicated patrons can go beyond fines for licensees and their staff, people can be hurt and lives can be lost if responsible service of alcohol rules are not followed.
Responsible service of alcohol training teaches workers how to identify intoxicated patrons and how to deal with them. It also teaches RSA staff the consequences they and their employer may face if RSA laws are breached.
If staff of licenced venues pay more attention to their patrons and begin enforcing RSA rules more closely, we should see a decline in alcohol fuelled violence and misconduct on our streets. Combined with initiatives such as those implemented by the licensees of Byron Bay, we will have safer streets and happier patrons.