Breathalysing idea dismissed

Tasmanian Hospitality Association general manager Steve Old

Tasmanian Hospitality Association general manager Steve Old

BREATHALYSING patrons at bars and nightclubs who appear too drunk to be served another drink was raised and dismissed as an option to minimise alcohol related harms.

The idea was discussed in a review of the Liquor Licensing Act that set out several other proposals including:

•The mandatory provision of free water at licensed premises.

•An age restriction of 16 before a person can legally serve alcohol.

•Giving venues greater powers to remove and ban disruptive drunks from premises.

Tasmanian Hospitality Association general manager Steve Old said it strongly backed a proposal that would allow licensees to ban repeat troublemakers from drinking at premises for up to six months.

"The THA is particularly in support of the proposals that provide longer and legally enforceable banning periods for people who cause trouble in venues," Mr Old said.

"Any additional ability for venues to deter such behaviour and work co-operatively with Tasmania Police on ensuring these individuals don't just walk down the street to the next venue is strongly supported by the THA."

The report recommended that an intoxication test judged by appearance, and not a breathalyser, be used by premises to decide whether a person should continue to be served.

Hotel Launceston marketer Tenille Pentland said a breathalyser test could prompt consumer backlash.

"A patron faced with having to perform a breathalyser test in a bar in front of their mates would create a scene, and potentially create behaviours that would be more difficult for staff to manage," she said.

The THA said it would make another submission to the review following the release of this month's proposal paper.

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