A new West Australian report has found that individuals are getting fined for problem drinking, not licensees.
Raising the Bar: Implementing key provisions of the Liquor Control Act in licensed premises looks at the monitoring and enforcement of the Liquor Control Act between 2006-2007. The report found that licensees appeared to be avoiding punishment for infringements. In fact, licensees and staff were less likely to be reprimanded for allowing a drunk person to be on their premises.
However according to AHAWA’s Bradley Woods, the licensees are “being made the scapegoats.”
I’m not quite sure how, given the review found there was an increase in the number of people fined for breaking the law. Indeed, over 90% of fines were made to individuals.
"As much as the police, licensees or government agencies can try and stop it, individuals will continue to try and get drunk and they've been doing that since alcohol was created," Mr Woods pontificated.
Excuse me? Individuals will continue to try and get drunk? Gosh - well if that’s the case then there’s obviously nothing that licensees and staff can do about it.
This comment, from someone who represents licensees, flies in the face of the whole principle of responsible service of alcohol – the provision an environment where people can go to socialise and enjoy a drink without patrons getting drunk and possibly contributing to violent behaviour.
Isn’t that supposedly a licensee’s job?
The comment also ignores the influence of the environment on people’s behaviour – that if the environment allows or promotes irresponsible service of alcohol then there’s going to be increased consumption and increased alcohol related problems.
But of course, they’ll spend more money.
Until next week,
Community Mobilisation Policy Officer