Liquor outlets have been warned to adhere to liquor laws
after a spate of offences fuelled by alcohol in Oamaru.
Offences at the weekend included fighting, assaults,
disorderly behaviour and vandalism, ranging from smashing
letter boxes to breaking fences.
In all instances, excessive consumption of alcohol was
involved, Acting Senior Sergeant Tony Woodbridge said
That was becoming too common in Oamaru at weekends, and Sgt
Woodbridge laid most of the blame on bars and nightclubs
breaching liquor laws by allowing in, or continuing to serve,
Most offences occurred after liquor outlets were closed.
"Liquor premises need to take more notice and check the level
of intoxication on their premises.
"The level of intoxication is too high," he warned.
Outlets faced fines of up to $10,000 for breaching liquor
laws, and managers and licence holders faced prosecution.
In addition, police could take action through the Liquor
Licensing Authority, suspending licences or asking for
"Liquor outlets have a social responsibility to those who
drink there and the community as a whole," Sgt Woodbridge
He pointed out police had been issuing warnings for some time
to outlets in Oamaru about their responsibilities, but that
did not appear to be working.
He also raised the problem at a recent Waitaki District
Council meeting, suggesting things that could be done.
One was reviewing closing hours for outlets, which had been
suggested in other centres.
"Even councillors are aware we have a problem," Sgt
At the weekend, no major problems occurred in relation to the
Undie 500 rally, on its way to and returning from Dunedin.
There were two arrests, but most on the rally participants
behaved responsibly while in Oamaru, he said.
"The biggest problem [at the weekend] was with locals."