An OLGR sting has brought about convictions and fines for licensing breaches for the licensee and a bartender at the New England Hotel.

Inspectors from the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) conducted a covert inspection of the Armidale hotel last July, and observed a bartender serve a highly intoxicated man, and security fail to conduct mandated patrols.

Just prior to midnight, the inspectors saw a man swaying at the bar order three vodka drinks, before requiring help to count the money and return to his table, where he promptly fell over. He was then observed skolling the drink.

A staff member instructed the man to leave after inspectors identified themselves.

Around 2am, the inspectors observed security staff manning entrances to the hotel, but not conducting the required patrol of the immediate area to mitigate noise from existing patrons.

At this time, large groups of patrons were seen loitering in the vicinity, making “a considerable amount of noise”.

Two breach notices were issued to the licensee, Ingham-Myers Hotels Pty Ltd, for: selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, and failing to comply with a licence condition.

The worker who served the intoxicated man was also issued a penalty notice for selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.

Although the hotel initially challenged the notices, guilty pleas were lodged on all three offences ahead of a hearing in Armidale Magistrates Court on Monday (25 January).

The licensee was convicted and fined $3,000 for the charge of selling alcohol to an intoxicated person, and $2,000 for the licence breach, with a further $560 professional costs for each. The employee was convicted and fined $500, plus professional costs of $560.

The Hotel had previously incurred a Strike under the OLGR disciplinary scheme after being caught using glassware in 2013, after it was previously ordered to do so as condition of having been listed on the regulator’s list of violent venues.

The conviction for sale to an intoxicated person places it under consideration for a second Strike under OLGR’s Three-Strikes scheme.

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