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Sydney Receives Tough New Alcohol Measures

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Following the introduction of lockout laws in the Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Cockle Bay, the Rocks, and Haymarket areas of Sydney in February this year, the NSW government have today continued their crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence by extending restrictions on the serving of alcohol.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, starting mid-July the new laws, which will cover pubs and clubs across the Sydney CBD, will ban the sale of shots, doubles, and pre-mixed drinks with an alcohol content of more than 5 percent after midnight. To prevent stockpiling, punters will be barred from purchasing more than four drinks at a time after midnight and two drinks at a time after 2am.

Venues will be barred from promoting so-called “high risk drinks,” such as discounted alcohol and specials on drinks promoted via drink cards, vouchers, flyers, and social media, while security are now legally required to refuse entry to anyone seen consuming alcohol “on approach to a venue.”

The restrictions also include a “CBD entertainment precinct” entry ban on anyone who is wearing colours associated with an “outlaw motorcycle gang,” while certain CBD venues “with a history of violence” will be barred from serving drinks in glass containers after midnight. There will also be a “police enforcement of alcohol consumption bans on trains and buses to reduce pre-fuelling.”

ABC News report Hospitality Minister Troy Grant says that while restaurants and tourist hotels will be exempt, the bans will apply to all other licensed venues. Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch refuted any allegations of nanny-statism, calling them “rubbish, absolute rubbish.”

However, the Australian Hotels Association say the new bans unfairly punish venues who don’t have a history of alcohol-fuelled violence. AHA Director of Policing John Green says businesses will be affected and there is a need to “assess what is the cost, what is the reality of the crime statistics.”

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