15 Dec 2013

Bar owners targeted in fight against alcohol abuse

1:00 pm on 15 December 2013

Police say they've caught a disappointing number of bars selling alcohol to minors during this weekend's trans-Tasman crack-down on violence, drink-driving and liquor bans.

Close to 700 officers in both New Zealand and Australia were on duty on Saturday and Sunday as part of the annual Operation Unite campaign.

Police manager of alcohol harm prevention Inspector Ben Offner said of 260 bars inspected, 32 sold alcohol to minors, a little over the normal failure rate of 10%.

Over the weekend, 43,000 people were breath-tested and more than 200 found to be over the legal alcohol limit. There were were 120 alcohol-related assaults and 336 alcohol-related arrests.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, requiring bars to close at 4am, has taken effect in stages and comes into full force on 18 December.