Booze ban for Xmas party

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

DEB­BIE JAMIESON

The or­phans at the Queen­stown Bay Christ­mas party might have sunk their last drinks, as pres­sure grows to re­duce in­tox­i­ca­tion in the town.

More than 1000 peo­ple par­tied on the beach on Christ­mas Day and Queen­stown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said it had be­come a prob­lem.

‘‘It was a mess last Christ­mas day and my per­sonal view is that’s not what Christ­mas is about. We’re go­ing to look at the al­co­hol ban pe­riod at Christ­mas time and move it to preChrist­mas,’’ he said.

How­ever, the coun­cil also recog­nised that there was ‘‘a whole bunch of peo­ple who are re­spon­si­ble and for whom a wine on the beach on a sunny af­ter- noon is a nice thing to do.

‘‘It’s a dif­fi­cult one be­cause coun­cil doesn’t want to be­come bah hum­bug and be­come the kill joy but equally we do recog­nise that al­co­hol to some sec­tions of the com­mu­nity is a prob­lem,’’ Boult said.

His com­ments fol­low con­cerns from Sergeant Brid­get Martin, a front line po­lice of­fi­cer in Queen­stown for six months who pre­vi­ously spent eight years on the Al­co­hol Harm Pre­ven­tion unit, in Auck­land.

Two young driv­ers were charged with drink driv­ing in the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing and an in­tox­i­cated young woman was picked up by po­lice for en­ter­ing the wrong house.

‘‘It ap­pears mi­nor but there have been other in­ci­dents like that where it hasn’t been such a good out­come,’’ Martin said.

‘‘Again the flavour is in­tox­i­ca­tion,’’ she said. ‘‘As a com­mu­nity what are we re­ally do­ing about it?’’

No one was hurt in the in­ci­dents but they could have been, she said.

‘‘What can we do more as a com­mu­nity about the level of in­tox­i­ca­tion that is ac­cept­able here?’’

DASHA KUPRIENKO/ STUFF

More than 1000 peo­ple cel­e­brated an ‘‘Or­phan’s Christ­mas’’ on the Queen­stown Bay beach front last year. In­set: Queen­stown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult

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