Banning drunks proves successful

IT COULD be a long time between drinks for almost 60 people who have been barred from pubs and hotels under Maryborough’s Liquor Accord, with 37 of them banned for life.

Publican and secretary for the accord, Clay Clayton, said 58 type one bans were now in place, banning those drinkers from individual hotels.

"Thirty-seven of the 58 are permanent bans that have accumulated over the years for serious or repeat offenders, how-ever, there are only five type two bans, which are from all hotels," Mr Clayton said.

He said while the number of bans fluctuated from month to month, there had been a definite reduction in alcohol-related incidents since the Liquor Accord was introduced three years ago.

"Being a smaller community, locals are more conscious about their behaviour now as they do not want to get banned from their local hotels," Mr Clayton said.

The Maryborough accord has also voted to introduce an optional education program for offenders, who could reduce their ban period if they elect to take part.

Mr Clayton said the Smart Drinker program from Harm Minimisation Strategics was designed to educate people on the effects of alcohol, how to drink more responsibly and how to behave in public and licensed premises.

"This new program has been implemented in some of our local schools as well as the prison, and it has recently been included in sentencing options for the Queensland courts," he said.

"We believe that this will be a good option for patrons who are genuinely regretful for their actions, as they will have the opportunity to commit to something positive to help them address their issue."

The group has also discussed broadening the scope of the accord to include introducing bans for drunken violence towards taxi drivers, ambulance officers and hospital staff, which has been effective in Bundaberg.
Mr Taylor also offered a reminder to celebrate responsibly this festive season.


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