Cup Day liquor ban possible

GOOD TIME: Punters enjoy pre-race drinks at last year's Cup Day.
GOOD TIME: Punters enjoy pre-race drinks at last year's Cup Day.

The Christchurch City Council has voted to investigate imposing a temporary liquor ban on the roads around the Addington Events Centre on Cup Day.

The ban has been proposed by the events centre in a bid to make the area safer for the public. The centre wants to prevent people preloading before they attend the races.

Cup Day is one of the busiest days of the year for Canterbury police and is often marred by anti-social behaviour from intoxicated racegoers.

RESTRICTED: Drinking on the streets around Addington may be banned on Cup Day.
RESTRICTED: Drinking on the streets around Addington may be banned on Cup Day.

It is suggested a temporary liquor ban should apply in Whiteleigh Ave, Lincoln Rd, Wrights Rd and Princess St for 24 hours on Cup Day, which this year falls on Tuesday, November 12.

Spreydon-Heathcote Community Board member Karolin Potter said the proposal was to make the ban temporary, but if it proved effective it could become an annual ban.

Councillors voted unanimously to investigate a temporary ban.

Deployment manager Inspector Peter Cooper said the ban would cut the number of alcohol-fuelled incidents that plagued emergency services each year.

"I certainly don't think it's a bad idea in any shape or form. Cup Day is a very big event," he said.

Preloading and bars and restaurants offering deals such as champagne breakfasts on the day meant people started drinking early in the morning, he said.

"Then we've got a crowd that's already predetermined how they're going to be spending their day," he said.

Cooper said people were drinking copiously for hours, and "by the time that day is over your state has changed significantly".

He said that if the Cup Day ban was successful, the same framework could be imposed at the Riccarton races.

"What's good for Addington could be good for Riccarton. The same logic could work for both," Cooper said.

"It has been talked about that perhaps it's an opportunity to extend the current Riccarton alcohol-free area right across to take in Addington as well," he said.

The Press