Licensed premises face police action

Three licensed premises in Dunedin are facing police action for breaches of the new alcohol legislation.

They were the first Dunedin establishments caught breaching the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 since its implementation on December 18 last year.

Dunedin alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Ian Paulin said the latest breach occurred this week, when alcohol was sold to an underage person during a controlled purchase operation on Tuesday night.

Fourteen Dunedin licensed premises were targeted, and staff at one establishment sold alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years, he said.

For that, Sgt Paulin requested a hearing by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.

He said ARLA was based in Wellington and would travel to Dunedin occasionally to conduct hearings on multiple cases from the city.

It was scheduled to hear cases in Queenstown next month, and Sgt Paulin hoped a trip to Dunedin would follow.

He also requested an ARLA hearing in respect of the first Dunedin establishment caught breaching the Act, on New Year's Eve.

In that case there were multiple breaches, including the sale of alcohol to an intoxicated person who subsequently assaulted someone on the premises, Sgt Paulin said.

Last week, another breach occurred in Dunedin, prompting Sgt Paulin to oppose the renewal of the duty manager's certificate.

He said his opposition would be heard in Dunedin in the next couple of weeks by the District Licensing Committee, which dealt with the issuing, renewal and suspension of certificates.

''Usually all enforcement matters go before ARLA, but in this case it just so happened that the duty manager's certificate expired at the time of the breach, and they have applied to the DLC for renewal of their certificate. So we'll deal with the breach at that hearing by opposing the application,'' Sgt Paulin said.

Two separate breaches last year of the previous legislation, which had yet to be resolved, would also be heard by ARLA when it sat in Dunedin, he said.

''They might come down once a year and hear all the cases we've got at once. It's a matter of stacking the cases up,'' he said.

Sgt Paulin declined to identify the licensed premises involved, as hearings were pending.

rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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