Booze behaviour disappoints

Police on a liquor sting in Palmerston North were unhappy about patrons staggering from a city bar and falling over drunk in the street.

‘‘It was a very disappointing way to end the night,’’ Sergeant Glenn Ryan said.

Also disappointing was that two licensed premises were selling alcohol to an underage volunteer, with one selling booze illegally twice in two hours on Saturday night.

Concerns were also raised over the monitoring of the drunkenness at that establishment, which was not named.

‘‘Upon closing, many patrons required assistance walking while others lost their balance completely and fell over in the streets,’’ Mr Ryan said.

Police and the Palmerston North City Council liquor licensing inspector would have ‘‘lengthy discussions’’ with the licensee of the premises that made two sales, he said.

‘‘At this premises the crowd controller asked for identification and, despite the volunteers saying they did not have any on them, they were allowed entry and were subsequently allowed to purchase.

‘‘While it is pleasing to find the majority of premises refusing entry or service, it is disappointing to find some premises continuing to breach the most basic of provisions within the Sale of Liquor Act.’’

The controlled purchase operation targeted 25 on-license  premises such as restaurants, bars and cafes, two bottle stores and two supermarkets on Saturday night.

It was a combined effort by Palmerston North City Council liquor licensing inspectors, the Ministry of Health and police.

The two volunteers were girls aged 16 and 17, and were watched by a plainclothes policeman.

The legal age to start buying alcohol is 18.

Manawatu Standard