Police want bar licence cancelled

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 25/07/2014

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Police are calling for a New Plymouth bar's licence to be cancelled after the drink-driving death of Carmen Rogers.

The 41-year-old mother of two, a well known artist, died after she was hit by a vehicle driven by a drink-driver three times over the limit in Brougham St, New Plymouth.

Hogan Bolton was sentenced to home detention after admitting a charge of drink-driving causing death. He blew 1297mcg of alcohol. The legal limit is 400mcg.

Bolton has told the Daily News that he went out for lunch with a mate then stopped in at Frederic's where he was drinking with friends over the afternoon.

He then got into his SUV in Egmont St about 4.30pm and minutes later had killed Carmen Rogers as she was locking her car.

Yesterday, a police spokeswoman confirmed they had looked into the involvement of the "local bar" as part of their investigation into the drink-driving death.

"As part of our investigation into a fatal crash which killed a 41-year-old New Plymouth woman we have been investigating alleged breaches of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 relating to the driver of the offending vehicle who had been consuming alcohol at a local bar prior to the crash.

"We have now submitted an application to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority seeking cancellation of that bar's licence," the spokeswoman said.

Frederic's owner-manager Rachael Deegan did not respond to a request for comment.

The revised 2013 act replaces the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.

The object of the act is that the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol should be undertaken safely and responsibly.

It also requires that the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol should be minimised.

An informed source said yesterday that a liquor licence could be cancelled if it could be proved a bar knowingly sold alcohol to a person who was obviously grossly intoxicated. Any level over 1000mcg was seen as an aggravating factor, the source said.

Under the act, anyone serving an intoxicated person or allowing a person to become intoxicated can be fined $10,000 and have their licence suspended.

Hospitality New Zealand regional manager Chris Hince declined to comment on the case, saying it was not appropriate to comment before the hearing.

"Obviously it's a very tragic situation and not something anyone has anything but regret about," Hince said.

A Justice Department spokesman was unable to say when a hearing into the matter would be set down.

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