Ballina Hotel Manager Jemarl Winkler welcomed new laws that redefines the meaning of intoxication.
Ballina Hotel Manager Jemarl Winkler welcomed new laws that redefines the meaning of intoxication. The Northern Star

Chucked from pub but not yet drunk

A NEW meaning to intoxication under the Liquor Act now means that you can be evicted from your local pub before you are drunk.

The Liquor Act that came into force last week has brought stricter changes to the way licensed venues deal with alcohol-related behaviour.

Under the Act, the new definition for intoxication is when a person's speech, balance, co-ordination or behaviour is noticeably affected due to the consumption of alcohol. If a person is deemed intoxicated then they will be asked to leave the venue.

Manager of the Ballina Hotel Jemarl Winkler said the stricter changes would ensure people were being pulled up before they got to a 'drunken' level.

“Sometimes it's that one drink too many that can be the difference between violent behaviour,” Mr Winkler said.

“Venues are already working with police to prevent alcohol-related crime; hopefully the new fines will also deter people.”

Senior Constable Michael Hogan said some people might consider the new meaning to be well below the level of intoxication they would describe as 'drunk'.

“This is basically a management tool for pubs and clubs and will allow them to be more vigilant in recognising signs of alcohol abuse,” he said.

Once asked to leave, if the person tried to re-enter the venue within 24 hours, or remains within 50 metres of the venue, the new rules meant he or she could be given an on-the-spot fine of $550 or be ordered to appear at court.

“This is about self-policing and working with clubs and pubs to reduce the risk of alcohol-related crime,” Senior Constable Hogan said.

The local area command and licensing police will monitor venues to ensure the changes are adopted.



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