Bay targets fake IDs to battle alcohol abuse
By LUKE PRENDERGAST
LICENSED premises in Byron Bay will target fake IDs in a bid to%reduce intoxication and alcohol-related antisocial behaviour.
About 40 representatives from Byron Bay's licensed venues met police and State Government officials at the Byron Bay Services Club yesterday for the launch of a special taskforce to address intoxication and alcohol-related crime in the town.
Among the measures suggested during a four-hour workshop to combat the problem were the employment of Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) marshals, offering discount food and soft drinks, and using black light technology to detect fake IDs.
Director of Liquor and Gaming, Albert Gardner, said the workshop was intended to provide practical advice to pubs and clubs on measures they could adopt to ensure the responsible service and consumption of alcohol, and to keep minors out of their venues.
"This is about partnerships, so we'd rather work with them than take the big stick approach," he said.
"We're asking licensees to recognise their responsibility." Tweed-Byron Local Area Commander, Superintendent Michael Kenny, said police encountered alcohol-related problems every weekend, with excessive drinking just one of the issues. An operation a month ago nabbed nine people providing alcohol to minors in just one week.
He said it about harm minimisation and a safer community.
Byron Bay Liquor Accord chairman Gary Charles said licensed venues needed to be better at recognising intoxicated patrons and intervening earlier.
"The problem is people come here on holidays and probably think they can drink more, let their hair down more," he said. "It's part tourists, part locals.
"Obviously we want to keep the reputation of Byron as a fun place to be, but also to remind visitors to respect locals and the town."