Clamp downs on the Sale of Liquor won’t work

“Helen Clark pledged to take action to stop the proliferation of liquor outlets, which had increased from 6295 in 1989 when the Sale of Liquor Act came into force to 14,970 this year. She was also adamant that law enforcement should be left to the police.” source NZHerald

How long till they introduce complete prohibition to appease the knee jerk reactionaries?  The supply of alcohol is governed by a piece of legislation called appropriately enough, The Sale of Liquor Act 1989.  Local Government controls the granting of Licenses under the Act.

This means there is already legislation and controlling bodies determining who can sell alcohol and where the sale of liquor takes place.  So this is more empty legislation.  A reaction to the rumblings of discontent over the violent crime stats.  Instead of giving meaningful funding to law enforcement.

I happen to live in one of the few “trust” areas remaining in the country. 

“The idea behind Licensing Trusts came from Scotland.  Scotland’s philosophy was that alcohol could be sold with care and responsibility, with the well-being of the community in mind, through a charitable organisation whose profits flowed back to the community.  This idea was embraced by New Zealand in the 1940s.

New Zealand Licensing Trusts such as The Trusts have authority, vested by the community, to retain influence over the sale of liquor in their area.  This means that only they can establish and own hotels, taverns and ‘off licences’.  (They do not control liquor licences in their areas.  These are provided by local authorities).” source TheTrusts website

I cannot go to the supermarket and purchase a bottle of wine with my groceries. 

The Trust diverts profits from the sale of liquor and gaming back into the community via applications for funding from various community groups and over the last 4 years they have given each household in the community, a free smoke alarm, a free first aid kit, a free fire extinguisher and a free rechargeable torch.   Because of the Trust, the car seat we got for the Pipi Princess, cost $25, brand new.  The Waitakere and Portage licensing Trust, own and operate, restaurants, taverns and off licences, they have around 38 licences to sell liquor in the West Auckland Area. They don’t control the issue of Liquor Licensing, that is done by local government.  There are, according to the Trust website, approximately 280 licences to sell liquor and for gaming held by other organisations like Returned Services Associations, sports clubs, events organisations and wine makers.

So the sale of liquor in my area IS tightly controlled already.  It doesn’t prevent under age drinkers, crime or alcohol related crashes.  All it does mean, is that in order to buy alcohol, I have to drive a little further.  Or, I could just stop somewhere on my way home.

Police Inspector Rob Abbot rightly points out in a news story this morning, that even the Government departments are at odds with the messages they advertise;

“One department stresses a message of care that says, “It’s not what we drink, it’s how we drink”. But another department seems to have the message that it’s all right to get as drunk as you like as long as you have a sober driver.”source NZHerald.

And then we have this sort of attitude, from the late Lance Duff who killed himself and two friends at 3:45am on Christmas Eve 2006, during a high speed pursuit in Auckland City.He reportedly told one officer he and his friends never stopped for police and “I don’t care if I kill myself running from you guys, and my mates are the same”.  Lance aged 16, was under his age limit on alcohol with 11 mg when he died, but had been smoking Cannabis.  He was driving on a Learners Licence and died at age 16, exiting the NorthWestern Motor Way at a speed in excess of 200 KPH, having extinguished his lights to evade Police.  The pursuit lasted 2 minutes and 35 seconds, Police were 400 metres behind.

Sylvia Freeman mother of Cheyenne Freeman, also killed in the crash, blames the Police and Duff equally for the loss of her daughter.

Legislation is not going to change a thing.  I wrote about attitude and personal responsibility last week.  The Government just wants to be seen to be doing something because it’s an election year.

European nations have drinking ages of 18, 16, 14, or no age limit at all. On the other hand, local cultures often frown sternly upon public drunkenness and Drink Driving Laws are stiff.  They have a much healthier attitude to alcohol.  Proof in itself that prohibiting and limiting access to alcohol don’t work well.  Binge drinking amongst youth however is becoming a rising issue although not on a par with those of us outside Europe.

So ask yourself, why is binge drinking such an issue in NZ, Britain, Australia and the USA?  Could it be perhaps, a growing antipathy towards Authority by youth, coupled with a Nanny State mentality from adults who abdicate their personal responsibilities and lack the intestinal fortitude to control their children?


2 Responses to “Clamp downs on the Sale of Liquor won’t work”

  1. Mike Mincham Says:

    Ohh yea Cheyenne Freeman was a guy.

  2. check this out…

    this is mine…

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