Monday, August 17, 2009

'Big Nanny' creates angry drinkers

The Daily Tele today makes a point I have been thinking about for some time.

Anti-alcohol activists in Kings Cross regularly call for tougher RSI (Responsible Service of Alcohol) rules. But how practical is that? Writes The Tele:
There are doctors and scientists across the globe struggling to pinpoint the nexus between alcohol and bad behaviour yet on a Saturday night this judgment is being made in a second by hotel bouncers under riding instructions from terrified publicans.
Indeed. Many violent incidents are in fact caused by staff, "terrified" by already draconian fines and penalties for venues, over-reacting and denying drinks or entry to people who then get annoyed. I once saw an 18-year old barmaid refuse service to a friend of mine, a truckie in his 50s, who had had only two glasses of wine all afternoon, compliments of the pub during a 'friendly' PR reception for its local neighbours. He had a slow Aussie drawl and the north shore girl mistook it for drunkenness.

My friend was furious. Fortunately he was also a peaceful, sober type and didn't lose his cool. He never went back to that pub again. So much for PR.

Yet temperance types are always calling for even tougher enforcement of RSA rules. Just how would that work? Compliance officers lurking in the crowd, breath-testing patrons and then sacking the bar person who had served those found to be over .05?

Sorry, Big Nanny, can you please leave us adults alone to make our own decisions?

Meanwhile The Tele also reports on police pushing around a the licensee from The Gaslight Hotel in Crown St, which has now won an appeal against glass restrictions. The Tele has CCTV footage of the incident. If a customer did this it would be 'Alcohol-Fuelled Violence'.

The police should be freed to fight actual crime, not enforce nannyism.

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