Police get tough on liquor ban breaches

Police get tough on liquor ban breaches

Wellington

People who breach the public liquor ban in the designated city areas can expect to be arrested, says Inspector Kevin Riordan, acting Wellington Area Commander.

"We've been using our discretion until now so that people could get used to the idea that the 24/7 liquor ban exists. There's plenty of signage about the ban so we don't want any more excuses.

The 24/7 ban came into effect from 5pm on 31 July. The ban's areas have been extended to include Aro Valley, Central Park and Oriental Bay.

"There's a direct correlation between alcohol and violence," Inspector Riordan said. "With summer coming up, a range of outdoor events bringing more people into the city in the evenings, and pre Christmas parties taking place we want to ensure the city is safe and enjoyable for everyone.

"Dealing firmly with people who breach the ban will reduce alcohol disorder on the streets," he says.

"Alcohol is a problem and is the cause of a lot of the disorder and violence that occurs in the city. People that are under the influence are usually our offenders or they get so drunk they become our victims when others take advantage of them."

Inspector Riordan says people should also realise that they breach the liquor ban if they are drink alcohol while in vehicles parked within the liquor ban area.

Police are also concerned about the increase in drink drivers in the Wellington Area. "We are catching people during daylight and in the evenings, but there seems to be more coming to our notice from 6am to midday on Saturdays and Sundays," he says.

He warns motorists to expect more drink driving operations in the coming months.

"Having a drink driving conviction impacts on you and your family," he says. "As well as a monetary penalty there is at least a six month disqualification and this places hardship on people who may depend on you.

"The message is simple. If you're going out and plan on drinking alcohol, know that the liquor ban exists in the city, appoint a sober driver or make alternative transport arrangements if you plan on drinking alcohol, and let's keep the city and roads safe for everyone."

Ends

Released by Kaye Calder

Wellington Police District communications manager

tel 04 496 3464