The view from behind the bar 

Image via CC

Last week I wrote about the concept of planning before you party.

This week I’d like to continue on that trope. The Sale and Supply of Liquor Act is the law that governs how alcohol is sold in New Zealand and mitigates harmful alcohol consumption.

The Act among other things has strict penalties for bars and cafes from selling alcohol to minors and to intoxicated patrons. In fact, there are severe penalties for doing so.

The licensee of the premises faces up to a $10,000 fine and may be forced to close the premises for up to seven days. In the case of the bar manager, they face a fine of up to $10,000 and the possibility of losing their manager’s licence. This is affects their ability to work.

I bring these matters up because often we get flagged down by intoxicated people wanting to complain about the poor service they have received from a licenced premises because they’ve been asked to leave. Communicating all of this to intoxicated people is problematic and often an exercise in patience.

As we all know, intoxicated people don’t always make the best decisions: I’m a big proponent of looking out for your mates. If you think your mate is going to drive, hide his keys. Call a taxi, get someone sober, whatever it takes. Call us if necessary. Anything you can do to stop a mate from driving drunk.

Looking after your mates doesn’t just end at driving. I hate seeing a patron who has been ejected for being intoxicated waiting around outside for his “mates” who are still inside. I always ask myself what kind of mate leaves their intoxicated friend hanging around outside a pub while they continue on the night.

When I was much younger, I was on a big night out in Wellington.

A good mate of mine got separated from our group. We tried to find him but couldn’t. I rang his cellphone the next morning and a nurse answered it. Without going into details, my friend wound up in a wheelchair after a tragic non-vehicle related accident.

Even 22 years later we still don’t know exactly what happened to him. I think of that night every single time I see an intoxicated person alone outside the pubs.

If your mate gets removed from a bar, be a mate and get him a feed and get him home.

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