WA Liquor Law Review to Target Youth Drinking
A problematic binge drinking culture seems to have gripped the entire country but in particular it seems to have affected young people. Now one state, Western Australia is targeting youth drinking by a review of its liquor laws.
In the review of the state’s laws, it has been recommended that adults that supply alcohol to other people’s children face criminal prosecution.
An independent review committee of WA’s Liquor Control Act 1988 composed a 270 page report which was presented to the government for consideration recently. The review committee suggested a total of 141 recommendations.
One of the recommendations of the review was to make it legal to supply an underage person with alcohol. The review also said that the legal drinking age remain at 18. The review also addressed the issue of young people who obtained fake IDs in order to purchase alcohol.
If the amendment is passed it would be an offence for a person who gives their identification to another person to use, and juveniles would face fines of up to $2000 for using false IDs, tampering with proof-of-age documents and creating fakes.
The review would also give the police more power and allow cadets to “trap” premises that sell alcohol to juveniles. Licensees would have to ask patrons who look younger than 25 for identification.
The Australian Hotels Association was not supportive of the review and its WA CEO Bradley Woods criticised the review for pushing for the causes of the police and health alcohol groups and ignoring the interests of the hospitality industry. He had this to say about the review:
“[The review] ignored the government’s policy about not introducing entrapment laws for police to prosecute using children,” he said.
“It’s recommended that instead, and it ignores a lot of the red tape recommendations put forward not only by the licensed industry but by the former committee that was chaired by the Minister for Tourism Liza Harvey when she reviewed these issues back in 2009/2010.”
He said it was the result of those appointed to the review committee not being involved in the industry prior to working on the review.
The review also targets bouncers, suggesting that they be forced to undertake Responsible Service of Alcohol training just as bartenders do.
The review suggests that venues located in the entertainment district or those that are high risk introduce ID-Scanning to better keep track of who is entering their venue. The review suggests that drunken patrons be allowed to remain in the establishment as long as they do not become out of hand and they cease from drinking anymore alcohol.
Here are some of the other recommendations made by the review,
The review recommended making it a criminal offence to deliver alcohol to a juvenile in Western Australia – aimed at both the person delivering the alcohol and the licensee.
Licensed premised would only be allowed to trade until midnight on Sundays where a public holiday falls on the Monday.