How Will the New Lock Out Laws Affect Me?

Businesses that serve alcohol in Australia will be need to take note of the changes that will affect their liquor license according to the “Tackling Alcohol Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Act 2016” which was proved by the Governor on March 4, 2016. This article will highlight some of the ordinances and will discuss the pros and cons of the new laws. If you want to read the bill in full, please click here.

Below are just a few of the new ordinances that will affect those businesses with a liquor license:

  • It is prohibited to extend trading hours for takeaway alcohol after 10pm
  • The definition of “liquor” now excludes certain substances such as food additives from the Liquor Act of 1992.
  • The acceptable proof of age for purchasing alcohol has been strictly clarified
  • Community clubs are now allowed to sell takeaway alcohol to guests of members, signed in visitors or reciprocal members.
  • Breath analysis results are now admissible evidence in cases against a license where there is sufficient evidence to suggest that they may have committed an illegal offence.
  • Trading hours for licensed venues outside of “Safe Night Precincts” will change to 2am effective July 1, 2016. This applies to alcoholic beverages only. Businesses will still be able to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Businesses in the “Safe Night Precincts” will be able to serve alcohol until 3am.
  • As of February 1, 2017, there will be a 1am “lockout” on all licensed premises in the Safe Night Precincts, prohibiting patrons from entering these premises between 1 am and 3 am.
  • There will be a ban on rapidly intoxicating drinks after midnight

Pros:

  • The lockout period will only affect the sale of alcoholic beverages. Businesses do not have to shut down and are still able to sell non-alcoholic beverages, food and provide gaming and entertainment for its patrons.
  • Casinos, industrial canteens and licensed premises in airports are exempt from the lockout laws, as well as businesses used as a place of accommodation for overnight guests.
  • Licenses with gaming hours have the ability to file for an application to extend their liquor trading hours for up to two hours if they meet the approved requirements.
  • The purpose of the new legislation is to reduce unnecessary violence and crime.

 Cons:

  • Not all of the violence has been attributed to those who are intoxicated. Citizens feel that that government needs to focus more on education and stricter law enforcement rather than lock out laws.
  • Businesses will be likely to experience a decrease in profits and patronage due to the new legislation and lock out times.
  • Patrons who frequent the businesses in these areas will simply take their business elsewhere. It will not only affect businesses with liquor licenses but other businesses in the area as well, such as hotels, restaurants and retail locations. This will have a negative effect on the overall economy.
  • Tourism will suffer as a result of the new ordinances. Word will get out of the changes and tourists will travel elsewhere where there are no such regulations in place.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you support the new lock-out laws, or do you believe they will be detrimental to the economy and ineffective to the problem of alcohol fuelled violence?

Written by Shenoa Gittins

Shenoa is the Operations Manager and co-owner of RAM Training Services.
You can connect with Shenoa Gittins via Google+ and Facebook.

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