Breaking law could cost you $250
Matamata police have issued seven infringement notices under the amended Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act in the last week.
Officers can now issue alcohol infringement offence notices (AIONs) for a range of offences, including breach of local alcohol bans (formerly known as liquor bans), lending an ID to an under 18-year-old or presenting a fake ID. Each of those offences now carry an instant $250 fine.
Matamata’s alcohol ban applies to all areas where the speed limit is 50kmh.
Sergeant Graham McGurk, of Matamata, said the notices were a more efficient way to deal with these type of offences.
‘‘Where before, with a breach of liquor ban, a person would be arrested, then cautioned or taken to court, now we can release them with a ticket for $250.’’
Police still had a power of arrest for these matters, he said.
Other offences include under 18- year- olds buying alcohol or drinking without a guardian in a public place, minors in restricted or supervised areas, or managers or employees intoxicated on duty.
Mr McGurk said it was hoped the risk of catching an instant fine would make people think twice before taking alcohol into a banned area.
‘‘ Having that drink may not result in a criminal conviction but it will result in a $250 fine, which is a lot of money for most people. ‘‘That’s a very expensive drink.’’ To avoid a fine, leave the drinks at home, he said.