The first "full" weekend of daylight saving hours is drawing close and Auckland City Police would like to remind people who are out and about in the city and some surrounding suburbs, that there are alcohol bans in place.
The CBD's 24/7 ban, governed by City Council by-law, was originally introduced in September 2002 to help Police and the wider community deal with drink-related problems. The hours and the area it applied to was extended in October 2004.
Bans are also in effect in the shopping and business areas of Panmure, Avondale, Onehunga, Glen Innes, Otahuhu and Mission Bay beach from 10pm to 6am, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and Parnell and Newmarket from 10pm to 6am on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Under the by-law, people are prohibited from carrying or drinking alcohol in public places in the ban areas. This includes the possession of or drinking of alcohol in vehicles that are in ban areas.
The bans don't cover private property or licensed premises, including any outdoor seating attached to licensed premises. Carrying unopened bottles of alcohol promptly through a ban area is permitted.
In most cases, Police will give people the opportunity to leave the area or tip their alcohol out before they or their vehicle is searched. People prosecuted for breaching a ban can be fined up to $20,000.
Senior Sergeant Shane Mulcahy of the Tactical Support Group says, with the warmer weather and longer days, Police are seeing more people, particularly younger people, driving into the city with alcohol they've bought from off-licensed premises with the view to drinking in private before going into clubs and bars where they would pay more for their alcohol.
"Police can and will search suspect vehicles for alcohol. Anything open and in the process of being consumed will be disposed of," Mr Mulcahy said. "Our objective is to ensure people enjoy the city and all it's got to offer, safely. That means keeping our roads free - as best we can - of drink-drivers and our streets - as best we can - free of fear and intimidation."
Issued by Noreen Hegarty
Auckland City Police Communications Manager
Ph 09 302 6947 or 0274-951-589