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Liquor Sold To 14 And 16 Year Olds

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Liquor Sold To 14 And 16 Year Olds

20 January 2009 - On four occasions last Saturday, liquor was sold to 16 and 14 year old volunteers - astounding and disappointing the Christchurch Tri-Agency Liquor Licensing Team. All premises, duty managers and sellers will be prosecuted says Sgt Al Lawn, O/C Alcohol Strategy and Enforcement Team Canterbury.

"How hard is it to ask for identification before a sale? Our volunteers carry no identification and do not lie about their age if questioned," he says. "We will target premises which continue to sell alcohol to minors."

The Tri-Agency team is bitterly disappointed with the results from this 'Controlled Purchase Operation' conducted last Saturday, 17 January, after receiving specific intelligence in relation to the sale of alcohol to minors from a number of premises in the Christchurch area.

The use of under age volunteers, working under the supervision of Police, to test the effectiveness, or not, of licensed premises ability to deny sale to minors has been well established in law and within the liquor industry, says Sergeant Lawn.

"There is an expectation within the team that no licensed premise will sell to our underage volunteers. On this occasion we used both 16 and 14 year old volunteers."

Nine premises were visited, (seven convenience stores and two supermarkets).

six premises sold at least once with four of those premises selling to both our 16 year old and 14 year old volunteers.

Of those six premises which sold, one was a large supermarket and five were convenience stores.

Sergeant Lawn says that the team carefully checked all results.

"To test both the veracity of our intelligence and the readiness of premises to sell to minors, if a sale was made by a premise to our 16 year old volunteer we sent another volunteer into that premise to see if a sale would be made to our 14 year old. What astounded our team the most was that on four occasions we had sales to both our 16 and 14 year old volunteers."

The Tri-Agency Liquor Licensing Team consists of the Police Alcohol Strategy and Enforcement Team, Christchurch City Council Licensing Inspectors and a Community and Public Health Licensing Officer

The Tri-Agency team is committed to increasing compliance with clear requirement of the Sale of Liquor Act that alcohol not be sold to minors.

"We do this for a good reason. It is well documented that alcohol is the driver of between 50% and 70% of all crime and traffic incidents."

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