The Baillieu Government is introducing tough legislation into Parliament today for increased penalties and new laws to deal with drunken, loutish and threatening behaviour.
Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien said the Coalition was delivering on election commitments to give police and licensees stronger powers to crack down on anti-social behaviour in and around licensed venues.
The proposed amendments to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 and Summary Offences Act 1996 are designed to empower police and licensees to deter obnoxious, alcohol-fuelled behaviour.
The new changes include:
- increasing the on-the-spot fine for drunk and disorderly behaviour from $478 to more than $590 for the first offence, and more than $1,100 for a second or subsequent offence;
- increasing the on-the-spot fine for revellers who fail to leave a licensed venue when drunk, violent or quarrelsome by 150 per cent from $238.90 to $597.25;
- a new offence to deal with drunks hanging around licensed premises after being refused entry or required to leave;
- a new offence to deal with those attempting to re-enter a venue within 24 hours of being denied entry or required to leave a venue; and
- new powers for licensees and police officers to bar troublesome patrons from entering or remaining in a venue for a set period of time.
“We promised to send a strong signal that drunken, loutish and threatening behaviour on our streets would not be tolerated and that people who engaged in such behaviour could expect a punishment that would hurt,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Under these reforms, police and venue operators will have greater power to deal with people who get themselves drunk and cause trouble on the streets or in licensed venues.
“Under a Baillieu Government, Victoria will have a responsible liquor licensing framework that strengthens both the prevention of and enforcement of laws to combat alcohol-related harm,” Mr O’Brien said.