Praise for liquor outlets after minor test success

By Doug Laing

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Police, health and liquor licensing authorities are toasting the success of what sounds like one of the greatest binges in the world - 38 bars, bottle stores and other sellers of beer and wines in Napier and Hastings, all in one weekend.

There were almost no headaches, after only one outlet sold alcohol to their student-aged pub-crawling but non-drinking volunteer just as hundreds of other teenagers embark on the annual end-of-year rush to do the opposite.

Hawke's Bay Police licensing officer Sergeant Ray Wylie said the combined-agencies controlled-purchase operation took place last weekend, and only one outlet - a central Napier bar - sold alcohol to the minor (a person aged under 18).

"This is a vast improvement on our last controlled purchase operation, where nine bars and liquor stores were prosecuted for selling liquor to a minor," he said.

"We're very pleased with the results this time round and congratulate those liquor licensees who had good systems in place to prevent the sale of liquor to anyone under 18."

He said it's not an issue just for bars, the problem of minors trying to purchase liquor being possibly more prevalent for bottle stores, supermarkets and dairies.

In the past, several premises had to close for periods as penalties for supplying liquor to minors or other breaches of the Sale of Liquor Act.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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