Police sting at wine festival

18:45, Feb 06 2014
Police at the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival in 2013

Police will be keeping an eye out for drunk people trying to get into bars in Blenheim after the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival on Saturday.

Senior Sergeant Peter Payne, of Blenheim, said patrons and liquor licence holders both faced fines if they breached a new alcohol legislation which came into effect in December.

The legislation includes on-the-spot fines of $250 for breaching the liquor ban and using fake identification to get into bars.

Police check drivers after the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival in 2010

Police would be working with security guards at the festival, held at Brancott Estate near Blenheim, using an "intoxication assessment tool" which indicates how drunk someone is and what action is needed.

The Nelson-based traffic alcohol group would be operating a booze bus to catch any drink drivers after the event.

"People can expect to get stopped and breath tested," Mr Payne said.


"We want to make sure people have a good time and that others don't ruin it."

Police would also be conducting a controlled purchase operation at the event targeting the sale of alcohol to underage people. Last year nine wine stalls were caught selling to an underage volunteer in the sting.

Mr Payne said there would be zero tolerance for any breaches of the liquor ban both at the festival and after it.

"It's not about going out and getting drunk," he said. "Have a good time and enjoy the experience, but be sensible."

The Marlborough Express