Wednesday, April 28, 2010

24/7 Liquor Ban a bridge too far?

A debate is looming in Hamilton over a proposal from a Council Committee to ban the consumption of liquor in public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week [see: for details on the reasons for this].

An alternative proposal, which has unfortunately not yet been put out for public consideration is to change the 24 hours to a ban just between 10pm and 6am.

There is no doubt there is a liquor problem in various areas around the city that needs to have some action taken on it. The liquor companies and some retailers don't seem to care about the affects on communities of their unbridled promotion of liquor sales, especially to young people. Public safety is often at risk because of the effects of excess liquor consumption.

But is a 24/7 ban the answer? Respectfully I don't think so. The Police themselves are happy with the 10pm-6am ban option, which they say covers the worst problem times. Good, law-abiding Hamiltonians - maybe having a wine with their family picnic beside the Lake - will be penalised by what is probably an over-reaction to a very real problem. Should the police turn a blind eye to this, but then turn around and arrest a 20-year old with a can hin his hand and wearing a hoodie?

What do you think? Have a vote in the voting section on the left....

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