Kimberley publicans want ID scanning

PUBLICANS in the Kimberley’s three biggest towns will trial compulsory scanning of identity papers to block violent drunks, problem drinkers or suspected sly-groggers from buying takeaway alcohol.

The Australian has been told publicans in Kununurra, Derby and Broome fear that the West Australian Director of Liquor Licensing, Barry Sargeant, may further restrict sales, a move they believe would hurt tourism and unnecessarily punish customers who are not alcoholics. In Broome, Diver’s Tavern owner Mark Phillips said he hoped the voluntary scanning system could convince Mr Sargeant not to introduce severe restrictions like the ones imposed at the inland Kimberley towns of Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, where there is a permanent ban on all takeaway alcohol except light beer.

In Kununurra, bottleshop managers last week were given a demonstration of ScanTech during a meeting of the town’s local liquor accord. Publicans there have told police they favour a scanning system similar to a scheme under way in the Northern Territory.

Since June, all customers in Darwin must submit their driver’s licence before sale. Customers banned from buying alcohol by the Department of Justice return a red result and must not be served.

Darwin shop owner Faye Hartley said the scanning system had done nothing so far to reduce the number of problem drinkers in the park across the road from her store, but she said the scheme deserved more time.

Kununurra Senior Sergeant Jack Lee said the proposal was in its early stages, but local publicans liked the idea of being able to share


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