Monday, December 14, 2009

Alcoholic Violence: Is Society Stupid?

Over the weekend police in all states & territories, and New Zealand, had simultaneous operations on drunkenness and violence. They particularly targeted 'hot spots', including Oxford St, Kings Cross and George St in Sydney.

From the data so far, it looks as though the publicity telling people it was happening had absolutely no effect. None. Zilch. So are we as a society, and the people concerned, so stupid that there was no change in behaviour?? Well, yes! People still went out with the purpose of getting drunk; people still carried knives & machetes, looking for a fight; people still thought they could indulge in illegal drug-taking. One TV actor, Todd Lasance, was allegedly caught with cocaine. 'Who?' you ask - well he's a person who wants to be known for his acting on the tv soapie Home and Away, wants to got to the US to further his career; and, yes, just another drug addict. Perhaps the tv show 'Stupid, Stupid Man' was written with the likes of him in mind. If convicted, the US might deny him entry.

More and more people are beginning to think the solution involves some or all of the following:

  • restricted opening hours for licenced premises. That is, the time they can be open, and the closing time.

  • enforcement of the RSA laws. Many establishments and nightclubs are clearly NOT fulfilling their legal and social obligations for a quick buck. Those not complying with the Responsible Service of Alcohol laws should be shut down. Repeat offending licensees should be banned for a period of years, and repeat premises should have a licence suspended, and not reissued at that address for some years.

  • higher rates of referral to drug and alcohol counselling

Me? I went to a party on Saturday night, had a few drinks, remained sober, and had a good time.

Those who go out to get drunk, and the premises that serve them, need to be targeted. I cannot see a reason why licenced premises need to be open beyond, say 1:30 am; or why drunks should be free to violently roam the streets. Nor can any taxi driver!

OK, I confess that all reads a bit like a weekday shock-jock, a species of which I am not fond. However, we, individually, and as a society, need to address the issue of alcohol, its irresponsible service by licenced premises, violence, and the people who go out to get druink and be violent.