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‘Radical’ Oz law to breathalyse drinkers in bars

‘Radical’ Oz law to breathalyse drinkers in bars


Source: The Spirits Business

by Annie Hayes

19th June, 2015


New legislation in Australia could see drinkers randomly breathalysed in bars and pubs – with venues fined AU$56,000 if patrons’ blood alcohol levels are deemed “too high”.


If approved, the new laws would give Queensland police the authority to breathalyse patrons inside bars and clubs to determine how drunk they are, with the results used to build a case against them.


The venues could then be taken to court and fined up to AU$56,000 for serving drinks to guests over a yet-to-be-decided “legal limit” – which potentially be a blood alcohol reading of 0.15 and above.


Attorney General Yvette D’Ath told the Gold Coast Bulletin: “Allowing police to breathalyse drunken patrons will help them to build cases for prosecution for court. For example, police consider a reading of 0.15 to be highly intoxicated.”


The measures also include a plan to bring “lockout” times forward from 3am to 1am, and ban venues from selling shots after 12am.


The law has been proposed in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence, but has been slammed as “draconian” by locals.


James Tweddell, owner of Broadbeach restaurant and nightclub East, said: “If someone wants to enjoy a night out, like a 40th, and the cops are going to walk in and breathalyse people at a venue, then that is ludicrous.”


It is reported that the government plans on having the new laws in place by November.


Restrictions over serving, advertising, and pricing spirits have always been a point of contention among members of the drinks industry – here’s a roundup of our top 10 most controversial alcohol laws.