Selling liquor to under-age people

Belinda McCammon in the SST reports:

A TRANS-TASMAN alcohol blitz has left police disappointed at the number of liquor outlets that continue to break the law despite an extensive campaign warning retailers not to sell alcohol to minors.

Operation Unite, which started throughout Australia and New Zealand on Friday night, is the fourth time the nations’ police have worked together in a weekend of action targeting alcohol harm.

I’m all in favour of Police operations where they crack down on outlets selling liquor to under 18 year olds. In fact I think they should be doing it far far more often.

But why is it a Trans-Tasman operation? The issues are a purely local one. Is there some belief that we should only crack down, if Australia is also? Trans-tasman operations make sense for crimes which involve our borders, or criminals working together from both countries. But why for a simple under-age drinking sting?

The New Zealand side of the operation, which lasted from 6pm on Friday and finished at 6am yesterday, involved 1069 police officers.

Sales practices were tested by controlled purchase operations at 208 off-licence liquor outlets, and there were 46 incidents of alcohol being sold to minors. …

121 controlled purchase operations were run at licensed liquor outlets to test whether minors were being sold alcohol.

46 incidents when alcohol was sold to minors on these occasions.

It seems around 35% of outlets sold liquor to an under 18 year old. That is a massively high figure and to me suggests the Police should be doing these crackdowns monthly or even fortnightly. It also reinforces my belief that better enforcement of the current law is preferable to changing the law.

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