Jill Derbyshire and husband Peter have been at the Royal
Hotel, Naseby, for more than two years and are keenly aware
of their host responsibilities under the law.
Mrs Derbyshire said hoteliers were the first in the firing
line if something went wrong.
''We could lose our licence,'' Mrs Derbyshire said.
One of the tools they use is an incident book, in which they
and their staff protect themselves by recording any
interactions they had with patrons about suggesting they use
the courtesy coach or that they be driven home, or if they
had been argumentative in the bar.
''If something happens and they have been in the bar
beforehand, it is there,'' she said.
They have not had to refer back to it so far, as there had
not been any trouble at the bar.
''I would hope it would show it was out of our control if
they [the patron] chose to ignore any offer that was made.''
She said if someone had an accident after drinking beer sold
by a supermarket, then that outlet was ''not in the firing
However, it was a different story for hotels.
''Even if they [patron] had chosen to walk home, after being
at the bar, and fell in a ditch and broke a leg, we are
responsible for that.''
She said that it must be incredibly hard for bars in places
such as Queenstown to stick to the law.
''We had a guy pulled up here last week about 9am wanting to
buy a lighter but we were not open.''
The driver said he was still really drunk.
She was not sure if advertising campaigns were effective,
especially with younger people.
''I would think people in their late teens and early 20s are
most likely to drink and drive.''
It was a similar situation to smacking children, she said.
''It is illegal for people to smack children, but people
still bash kids.
''For people who are responsible it [anti-drink-driving
campaigns and the law] does have an effect, but for people
who [are] not responsible, they are going to do it, anyway,''
Mrs Derbyshire said.
- by Yvonne O'Hara