Liquor laws linked to less trou­ble late at night

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - DAVID MUR­RAY

BIG nights out are end­ing ear­lier, with chap­lains re­port­ing the peak de­mand for their ser­vices has moved for­ward.

Chap­lainWatch says it has seen a change in drink­ing habits with the State Gov­ern­ment’s re­duc­tion in trad­ing hours at late-night venues and ban on shots af­ter mid­night.

“We peak around mid­night to 1am whereas it used to be 1-2.30am,” se­nior chap­lain Lance Mer­gard (pic­tured) said.

Chap­lains re­sponded to 4066 in­ci­dents in the For­ti­tude Val­ley, Brisbane City and Cax­ton St en­ter­tain­ment precincts last fi­nan­cial year, Chap­lainWatch fig­ures show.

That was a jump of about 30 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year af­ter more chap­lains were funded to work in the precincts.

Al­most a quar­ter of the in­ci­dents in­volved first aid for al­co­hol or drug in­tox­i­ca­tion (23 per cent). First aid for ac­ci­dents, as­saults, med­i­cal and men­tal health prob­lems ac­counted for 14 per cent of ser­vices.

Prob­lem-solv­ing – help­ing rev­ellers get home, find friends or charge phones – ac­counted for more than a quar­ter of all in­ci­dents (26.6 per cent).

For­ti­tude Val­ley po­lice Act­ing In­spec­tor Ian Park said po­lice were still deal­ing with al­co­hol-fu­elled vi­o­lence into the early hours of the week­end.

“It’s al­ways busy and we al­ways have our peak calls from 3-5am,” he said.

“Peo­ple are still com­ing out rel­a­tively late and we are still con­cerned about the whole is­sue of peo­ple preload­ing.”

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