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Sydney CBDs new Drinking Laws

Discussion in 'Politics' started by JSRF10, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Rob42 Ron Walden (29)

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    Hang on - the changes to the alcohol regulations (lockouts, etc) are hardly "dreamed up". They're based on the Newcastle laws, which seem to have been very successful. This is the way government should work - trialling ideas on small scale before rolling them out elsewhere. Will it completely stop assaults? Of course not. Should we not change the laws unless they will be perfectly effective?

    The mandatory sentencing? Obviously stupid - government ignoring all the evidence, whereas the licencing changes are based on at least some good evidence.
  2. JSRF10 Dick Tooth (41)

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    I don't think in Newcastle you can 5 minutes outside the exclusion zone and get to a raft of 24 hr bars as you could if you where drinking in lower George St, or walk across Pyrmont Bridge to 24 hours bars and a casino if you where at King St Wharf.

    The laws were rushed through for approval ratings without thinking of their impact to the economy or if this new precinct actually made an sense. The only thinking done was about letting the vocal "wont somebody please think of the children" journos move on to their next project, so they stop slating O'Farrell & Co. Laws were in place to deal with the problems, the police and judiciary needed to implement them properly. Then there is the longer term project of getting the drinking culture to change, that is the real problem and no politician has came up with a solution to this one.
    Runner and Braveheart81 like this.
  3. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Maybe because it isn't really a problem that politicians can solve?
  4. JSRF10 Dick Tooth (41)

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    Didn't people used to say that politicians couldn't take on the tobacco industry and win?

    There isn't an easy solution that's for sure but there has to be some leadership from politicians in trying. Maybe raise the drinking age, or restrict drinks with a high alcohol % to over 21s? Have social media campaigns highlighting the dangers of anti social drinking etc. Get community workers reenforcing the dangers of drinking to kids in school.
  5. Rob42 Ron Walden (29)

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    So if the violence problem transfers to the 24 hr bars just outside the CBD, it's pretty clear what the problem is, and the CBD regulations can be extended to those areas. I very much doubt this these regulations will stay in place, unchanged, forever. The Newcastle experience - based on what I read in the papers, granted - is that it has actually been positive for the night-time economy, because more people are prepared to spend the night in these areas, so I'll take the whinging from the late night pubs with a grain of salt.
  6. Lindommer Andrew Slack (58)

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    I've just received an email from the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing re the "changes that affect the sale of take-away liquor under your liquor licence".

    Producers and wholesalers now can't do deliveries after 10:00pm, my business is fucked! :(
  7. Runner Nev Cottrell (35)

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    [
    Wonder what the bar bill is in parliament house?
  8. #1 Tah Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Decided I'll throw my two cents in, do with it what you will.

    To put it simply, among my social circle (and I'm sure many more) Kings X and George street are now seen as "too dangerous" to go to on a weekend. The Ivy alone had 24 assaults reported in 2013 - thats almost one every second weekend.

    I believe that eventually, as pubs and clubs open outside this lockout zone, the problem will just shift elsewhere - excessive amount of media attention has really damaged the reputation of the cross and the city. So we will either go somewhere in Double Bay, somewhere in Bondi or somewhere on Oxford street to live out our Grand Theft Auto type fantasies there (okay, so maybe video games aren't the main contributor, but you can't say that increased exposure to violence wont have any negative effects).

    It's like what the guys at Tomorrowland music festival said about bringing the show to Australia. "Tomorrowland in Australia would be fantastic, except for all the Australians". If my mates want to go out in the city, we go to backpacker bars. There are too many binge drinkers and steroid abusers on the streets that it's embarrassing for our culture.
  9. ChargerWA Mark Loane (55)

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    I know this happened in WA, but in the greater conversation about alcohol fueled violence, this sentence is a slap in the face of society.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-22/williams-sentenced-in-gbh-case/5403746

    It's easy to talk tough about coming down tough on perpetrators of alcohol fueled violence, but apparently if you are a famous footballer with enough money to buy a decent defence lawyer you're still golden.
  10. Scoey Tony Shaw (54)

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    The fact that the assault may not have happened had the offender been sober should not be a reason to go lighter on him!! I'm so sick of this shit where people use the fact that they were drunk as an excuse!!
    If assault in this case was 12 months jail potentially, the fact that he was under the influence should make it a longer sentence.


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  11. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    What's the difference? Newman is indigenous? :eek:
  12. Gnostic Mark Ella (57)

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    In traffic related matters before a court intoxication by drug or alcohol is a circumstance of aggravation. In the majority of criminal cases intoxication has no bearing on the charge, from the view point of the prosecution. It is a fact of the circumstance and should be presented as such. The defence usually introduces such facts as exculpatory evidence arguing that the impaired judgement of the accused effected them so that they committed an offence they would not have otherwise committed. It is up to the judicial office to discern if indeed the intoxication was an exculpatory factor and indeed if it is presented as such has the accused presented such evidence in the past? Such evidence can only be rightly presented at sentencing and I know of no matter where intoxication has been successfully used as a defence under Mens Rea.

    I am about as pro-prosecution as anyone could possibly be, but, there is no way that intoxication should be considered a circumstance of aggravation for a criminal matter. If such a thing happened would you raise the sentence for an Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm from 5 years? Currently the only circumstance of aggravation for such an offence is committing it company (ie gang bashing etc) which raises the penalty to 7 years.

    http://www.judcom.nsw.gov.au/publications/benchbks/sentencing/assault_wounding_offences.html#p50-060

    If we actually saw such penalties handed out for premeditated assaults it would be sufficient in all cases. The trouble is we do not and we get knee jerk re-actions like mandatory sentencing from politicians un-willing to confront the real issues of licencing/enforcement of liquor outlets and secondly the judiciary.

    The law should be simplified not made more complex by adding layer upon layer. Just as in Rugby we should be striving for this as a priority so all citizens/players know where they stand.
  13. Scoey Tony Shaw (54)

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    You clearly know more on the topic than I, @Gnostic but the bar wasn't set that high to begin with. ;)

    I understand your point regarding simplification of laws rather than adding extra layers and that makes sense to me but I am unmoved from my position on inebriation being a circumstance of aggravation as you put it.

    I don't see the difference between traffic related offences and violent offences. Intoxication impairs one's judgement and this is a known fact. You drink and drive you do so knowing that you are impaired and endangering others. The same should apply to any offences causes whilst intoxicated.

    There are guys I know that get punchy when they're drunk and they go out with the intent to get drunk and fight. Not necessarily to hurt or injure but that is often the end result. They probably wouldn't (and generally don't) get into fights when sober which is why the drinking and fighting go hand in hand. It is a circumstance of aggravation and should be punished.

    I have no experience in this (probably obvious) but I would've thought that proving premeditation would be problematic and could be partly the reason why penalties reflecting premeditation aren't handed out often. It would be far easier to prove intoxication. To me it's simple. If people want to willingly impair their judgement and they hurt someone else as a result then they should get punished more severely than if they were sober.


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  14. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    The vast majority of violent crimes that the courts deal with and particularly any crimes committed by young offenders happen under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Mostly alcohol though.

    In effect, there doesn't really need to be an increased punishment for crimes committed whilst intoxicated because that covers the vast majority of the crimes already.

    I also don't really get the premise why it would be a lesser crime to violently assault someone when you're sober than when you're intoxicated.
  15. spikhaza Arch Winning (36)

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    AS a young man who will go out fairly regularly (albeit in Brisbane), I disagree with the new Sydney laws from what I have seen whilst out personally and the facts about alcohol violence etc I have read.

    PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:

    - To get into a fight, you either have to be fucking unlucky and be unfortunate enough to have a bloke who is probably on 6 drugs at once just totally randomly come and king hit you.

    OR you provoke it, which is 99% of the time. How do you not provoke yourself from being hit you say? It's simple, you see dickheads and you MOVE THE FUCK AWAY, you don't talk to them, you don't go near their girlfriends, you don't do anything that will get you hit.

    - The 0.01% of dickheads out there that do get into fights:
    -Do not know the law or ANYTHING about it. They don't read the news, they don't know about mandatory sentencing or any reforms.

    THEREFORE, these resolutions DO NOT DETER these people from hitting people. Even if they did know about them they are drunk and aren't thinking about that. This is the basic reasoning behind why mandatory sentencing is stupid.

    Closing hours:

    - Here in Brisbane we have a 3am lockout, and even that is stupid. I got caught in the lockout quite recently whilst moving from the Valley to the City (took 2 mins longer than it should have), and was refused entry at 3am.

    There was a whole bunch of people in the same boat, many of whom had had a lot to drink, who then went into the cab line and were trying to start people.

    - If you do the same thing only SHUT the places at 3am, I would shudder to think what would happen when 1000's of people angry that their night has been finished because the government says so would do in these cab lines etc as they all simultaneously spilled onto the street.

    Furthermore, I just detest the Government saying you can and can't do things like this.

    Statistics:

    This is perhaps the most interesting part of the debate and we see Newcastle etc dragged in a lot here. Newcastle stats conveniently forget that the violence rate has gone down nationwide at around the same pace. I'm trying to find a source for this which i read back in February but no luck yet. Will edit it in.

    Conclusion:

    My view is that early shut down leads to more violence @ the precinct due to many intoxicated persons suddenly spilling out on to the streets and looking for a way to get home.

    People won't come out earlier, Many are at parties etc that finish at midnight or 11 or thereabouts. They want to party until they see fit and making it finish at 3am only annoys them.

    Less people will go out and just have their party keep going at home which is unsafe, away from police and can have far worse consequences.

    Basically it's bad
    JSRF10 likes this.
  16. JSRF10 Dick Tooth (41)

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    The thing about Sydney lock outs and last drinks is that you can walk 5 minutes across a bridge, down George St or jump in a cab and you'll be able to access 24 hour boozers.I assume that's the main difference to Brisbane?

    It seems that violence is down in the Cross and CBD but so are the number of people drinking there, so its hard to say that the laws are a success, as no doubt the politicians who brought them in will be, without examining the trend across the wider Sydney area. Statistics can be used to prove anything 60% of people know that
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  17. terry j Ron Walden (29)

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    very good!
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  18. Scoey Tony Shaw (54)

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    Spikhaza. I'm 6'6" and my build is proportional to my height. I got picked a LOT when I went out because these small minded fucks liked the idea of being the guy that knocked down the big guy.
    I used to just walk away from then and often that would work. These days walking away opens me up to being hit from behind which is a far riskier proposition than standing my ground and trying to stare them down until a bouncer notices then leaving the joint.
    Conclusion: it's not always as simple as you say to avoid trouble.


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  19. Gnostic Mark Ella (57)

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    @Scoey,

    The arguments regarding Traffic offences and circumstances of aggravation needs to take into account the fact that when people are licenced to drive (even if unlicenced) the law deems them to become strictly liable for their actions behind the wheel. This is what makes impairment a matter of aggravation for offences in traffic law.

    In criminal law the Latin term Mens Rea literally means the 'guilty mind' and is a key proof that the prosecution must establish to prove an offence has been committed. The intent to commit a criminal offence has always been a key point in our legal system, and whilst there are some legal arguments and fine points surrounding acts or omissions of neglect the intent is what separates the guilty from the innocent.

    As I said I am very pro-prosecution but even I would never change or support any change to that key point.

    Ask yourself however would we be having this discussion if the offender/s in these situations had been sentenced appropriately as the law currently and nearly always has provided for since the Crimes Act in NSW (and its mirrors in other states) was first enacted, and even prior to that under the relevant statutes of Imperial Britain? I seriously doubt it, the discussion would centre on police catching those responsible as it did in the 60's with the western Sydney razor gangs and breaking the associations.
  20. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I agree with everything you've said up to this point but am confused by this paragraph.

    Are you suggesting that sentences aren't appropriate?

    We've seen a steady increase in sentence durations over the last 30+ years. The sentiment about the judiciary getting softer on crime is refuted by the statistics.

    Manslaughter will invariably be the most difficult crime to effectively sentence for because the crime doesn't match the outcome. From the perspective of the victim's family, it may as well have been murder. From the perspective of the law, the crime was far less serious yet the outcome was serious (i.e. someone died).

    This is a crime where the judiciary will never be able to effectively balance the impact on the victim and their family and the crime committed.

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