Clampdown on pubs, bars that serve drunk people

2012-12-11 00:00

IF you are going to the South Coast on holiday, be warned — the days of getting intoxicated at various pubs and clubs are over because establishments that hold liquor licences and serve inebriated patrons will be bust in future.

And from now on, South Coast police warn that they will be ruthless with any person under the age of 18 caught drinking in a bar, club or restaurant unless they are under parental supervision.

What’s more, anybody within a five metre radius of these establishments are also the responsibility of the liquor licence holder and the club or pub will be nailed for clients’ drunken behaviour.

A major training session was held at the Port Shepstone police station yesterday, and was attended by 80 local South Coast liquor licence holders.

The purpose of this was for station commander, Brigadier Agnes Nxamagele, to read these licence holders the “riot act” and to discuss the existing liquor Act 27/1989 and the new act which is still pending (Act 6/2010).

Important issues pertaining to licensed liquor premises such as intoxication of patrons, the illegal presence of minors at liquor premises, the trading hours which have to be adhered to, the safety of patrons at the premises which becomes the licencee’s responsibility and a safety plan for the premises were discussed.

The designated police officer at Port Shepstone station, Warrant Officer Dries van Aarde, is the only trained liquor officer in terms of Act 27 of 1989 on the South Coast and also the National Liquor Inspectorate (Department of Trade and Industries Act 59 of 2003 National Liquor Act).

He said that in terms of the new act (Act 6/2010) which comes into effect in April next year, all licence holders will have to implement a safety plan at his or her premises, but that they should already behave as though the new act was in place because the police were already taking it as though it was done.

“This means quite simply that clients have to leave in the same state they arrived in, which means a person cannot leave totally intoxicated and if they do and have an accident, then the liquor licence holder is held responsible.”

Van Aarde said that the police were going to be very serious about this part of the act and would nail institutions over the festive season if they did not adhere to this part of the act.

In the past, those who had liquor licences simply went to the bank to buy and renew them.

In future, they will have to go to the Liquor Board and this, said Van Aarde, is where they would now pick up “flak” if they had contravened the act by allowing people to get intoxicated.

For more information on liquor licence related issues, phone Warrant Officer Van Aarde on 039 688 13 64.

• elaine@feveronline.co.za

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