12 Sep 2013

Wellington alcohol policy close to approval

9:17 pm on 12 September 2013

A local alcohol policy aimed at reducing social problems in Wellington will be recommended to the city council for adoption next month, following a debate by councillors on Thursday.

The policy includes reducing hours for central city off-licence premises and penalties for people found intoxicated in a public place.

The most contentious part of the plan includes exploring options for taking action against people found drunk in public.

It could include issuing trespass notices, establishing a licence for people under 25 to purchase alcohol, being ticketed by police or drafting a local bill.

Off-licences in the central city and southern zone would be reduced to a 9pm closing time on a Friday and Saturday night under a voluntary six month trial.

And maximum on-licence trading hours would be 5am, with strict conditions in place for bars wanting to open past 3am.

Police are opposing these measures, with Inspector Terry van Dillen saying giving infringement notices to every drunk person walking around would be a huge job that police do not have the resource for. He says administratively it would be a huge job as well.