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Liquor, Gambling & Lotteries
Media releases
24 November 2013

The Government has announced a sharp increase in penalties for people behaving in an offensive or disorderly manner in or near licensed premises.

The move comes as part of the State Government’s crackdown on alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour.

Fines for behaving in an offensive or disorderly manner in or near licensed premises have increased from $160 to $500.

Deputy Premier John Rau said the introduction of new liquor licensing laws were an important tool in the battle against alcohol-fuelled violence.

“The Government is sending a clear message to both individuals and the operators of licensed venues that abusing alcohol will not be tolerated,” he said.

“Alcohol-fuelled violence damages communities and is totally unacceptable. We will keep working until this sort of behaviour is stopped.

“The laws to increase the fines and provide the Liquor Licencing Commissioner with a much stronger capacity to deal with rogue licence venues will help tackle this menace.

“Disorderly and offensive behaviour can quickly escalate into something much more serious, particularly where excessive amounts of alcohol have been consumed,” Mr Rau said.

“Issuing substantial fines, give police a swift way to deal with incidents before they spiral out of control.”

The State Government has also tightened the law dealing with the service of alcohol to intoxicated patrons.

“South Australia now has a single offence for licensed venues that serve alcohol to an intoxicated person,” Mr Rau said.

“Previously the laws only covered serving a person intoxicated by alcohol, the new offence applies where the person being served is intoxicated by alcohol or any other substance.

“This means that it is now an offence to serve a person who is intoxicated by alcohol or some other legal or illegal substance, or a combination of both.”

The maximum penalty for this offence is $20,000 for a first offence and $40,000 for a second or subsequent offence.
 
These reforms are part of a package introduced as part of the Government’s Liquor Licensing (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act and complement the measures in the Late Night Liquor Code of Practice.

Officers from Consumer and Business Services and SA Police will continue to monitor licensed venues to ensure community safety.

“We want Adelaide to be a vibrant and safe city and people who threaten community safety will be held accountable,” he said.

“I am pleased with how hard the industry has worked to adopt new late night safety obligations, in particular the Late Night Code of Practice, which came into effect on 1 October 2013 in bid to combat alcohol-related violence.

“Even at this early stage, we are seeing good results from the Code, with assaults in the city down around 25% in October compared to previous year.”

For more information about the new laws and the Late Night Code of Practice visit www.cbs.sa.gov.au