A series of New Zealand pubs have had penalties imposed after failing to comply with the “fun police”.
Three venues have received licensing restrictions this week for matters relating to extreme drunkenness, after inspectors encountered patrons so intoxicated they were vomiting, fighting or had urinated on themselves.
New Zealand’s Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) only sits at certain times, and cases are only escalated to ARLA when venues have continued to have problems after working with police, local council and Community Public Health to resolve breaches.
Officer in charge of alcohol harm reduction, police Sergeant Sean Judd, said their goal was to promote safe drinking in the community.
“Some people call us the ‘fun police’… absolutely. We want to promote fun. The kind of intoxication we’re talking about, no-one’s having fun,” said Judd.
Revington’s Hotel – in the west coast town of Greymouth, where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip stayed during their 1954 Coronation Tour – has seen police called eight times since May of 2014, for breaches of its liquor licence.
Judd reported bar staff had been unable to assess patrons’ level of intoxication appropriately, and had not been monitoring who was in the bar, allowing patrons that had been evicted to re-enter.
Its bar, Danny Doolans Irish Pub, chose to close for two weeks from last Monday rather than stay open without selling booze, but its accommodation and restaurant are still operating.
The Hotel’s liquor licence has been renewed by ARLA on a conditional basis, with reduced operating hours and conditions such as the instigation of a host responsibility plan, staff training, and a security plan.
Coasters Bar in Hokitika was caught in a police operation, when a beer was sold to a 17-year-old without identification even requested. The bar has had its licence suspended for five days, and the duty manager will serve a 21-day suspension.
The Railway Hotel, also in Greymouth, has had its licence suspended for 24 hours (to take place 25 July) for allowing intoxicated people and disorderly conduct on the premises.