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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Simple answer to alcohol problem

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Valentino Costa, Byron Bay

I’ve arrived in Byron in the whirlwind of angst of the general community with development and planning of a franchise liquor outlet.

Although I’m a confirmed non-drinker I understand how a company would like to increase its revenue. From my observation it seems Byron is a very lucrative market (really, any populated beachside location) with the tourism industry and large influx of the youth demographic of backpackers who on the balance of probabilities more likely than not binge-drink on a regular basis. I overheard some travellers on a tour bus relishing the accomplishment of ‘knocking back 120 beers in six hours’! In any size bus that’s a lot!

So the company knows what the market is here and knows the potential for its bottom line.

Therefore I suggest just one of the many ways in which we can cut down the ill effects of excessive alcohol consumption is this: limit the over-the-counter selling units of alcohol per person. It’s that simple.

The current law is flawed. Sure you can’t sell any more alcohol to an intoxicated person. But you sell as much as you want over the counter to people who want to get intoxicated!

You are pre-loading them without any monitoring. Is it any wonder why binge-drinking is such a problem?

We could put memory chips inside the 18–24 age group IDs or vehicle licences in their own nationality so when they order or buy a drink it’s registered and if they order over the normal average quota, ie two drinks per hour, then they’re cut off and they are unable to be served any more, otherwise the owner or licensee of the premises has to pay a hefty fine. Of course there will be a few unscrupulous retailers or dodgy bars that will get caught, so the fine will cover the program costs.

Oh yes, and ‘dry’ tour buses well!

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