Public drinking fines fair enough

Stuff reports:

A second police crackdown on drinking in public has resulted in 40 young people being fined $250 each in just three hours.

Wellington police carried out the blitz in the central city, targeting people breaching the liquor ban on Saturday night. 

After an earlier operation two weeks ago, which netted 60 people breaking the bylaw, police publicly warned  they would carry out another on Saturday. Senior Sergeant Steve Dearns, who led both operations, said he was “concerned” so many people were still being caught.

But Victoria University’s students’ association is calling the fines punitive, and says hitting young people in the pocket won’t address the causes of “pre-loading”.

There is no “cause” of pre-loading. It’s simply a decision to but from off-licenses and drink it before going to an on-license.

If they were not being violent or committing vandalis, a warning and tipping out the booze would be fairer, association president Rick Zwaan said. “This $250 fine seems to be a bit punitive.”

I think the idea is that the fine will deter them from doing it in future.

Zwaan said it was no wonder students drank in the streets when alcohol was so expensive in bars, and university hostels set curfews on drinking indoors.  “It’s pretty unaffordable to drink out in the city.” 

Oh cry me a river. First of all it is no hard to drink past the curfew in a hostel, so long as you are not too rowdy. Secondly most students have lots of friends who live in flats. To claim there is no alternative but to drink in the street is crap.

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