The Otago Rugby Football Union has been temporarily stripped of its special licence to sell liquor at public booths at Carisbrook after a 16-year-old boy was sold a four-pack of beer in a police sting last month.
Sales will be banned tonight from 8.15pm - half-time in the Highlanders v Cheetahs game - until 10pm, a decision which union general manager Richard Reid estimated would cost the union $5000-$6000 in profits. The ban covers five liquor booths around the ground.
Dunedin City Council liquor licensing inspector Tony Mole said yesterday that the boy was sold the beer at 4.52pm on March 19, the day of the Highlanders v Crusaders game.
Mr Reid said that while he understood and respected the police decision to impose the penalty, the ban was "a bit of a bugger".
The sale was "disappointing", given the union took significant action to try to stop sales to people under 18, he said.
"We have security people on each bar and anyone who looks under 25 is asked for proof of identity. We're all over it like a rash, but unfortunately, one person got through."
He said he understood the boy was turned away at the other four bars. The large number of people at the game might also have been a factor, he said.
Dunedin police said the sale was the first time an under-age purchase had been achieved.
- OTAGO DAILY TIMES