Crime Stoppers

Section 48B of the Liquor Act – Commissioner's Power to Suspend Licence

Thursday 25-Oct-2018 16:17

Northern Territory Police have today exercised their powers under Section 48B of the Liquor Act and suspended a licensed premises in Katherine from trade for 48 hours.

Effective from 20 June 2018, the Liquor Act provides provision for a Delegated Police Officer to suspend a licensed premises from trade for a period of not more than 48 hours.  

On the 8 August 2018, a warning was issued by Northern Territory Commissioner of Police Reece P Kershaw APM for the Katherine Hotel under Section 48B of the Liquor Act.

It is alleged that on 18 August 2018, the Katherine Hotel breached liquor licence requirements with the regards to service of alcohol at a race meeting at the Katherine racecourse. Those breaches included responsible service of alcohol matters with patrons taking alcohol away at the end of the race event.

There were a further four incidents recorded between 19 August and 20 September that required Police attendance for matters that were alcohol related and included disturbances, fighting and urinating in public. These incidents were alleged to have occurred outside the Katherine Hotel and all involved intoxicated persons.

It is alleged that on 20 September 2018, Police observed a heavily intoxicated female purchase a 1.125 litre bottle of spirits from the Katherine Hotel bottle shop. The female was spoken to by Police and in addition to her physical appearance being indicative of intoxication, she was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.183%.

On 29 September 2018, Police were called to a group of persons fighting on corner of Giles Street and Katherine Terrace. Police attended and located a large disturbance involving a number of intoxicated persons who had been recently ejected from the Katherine Hotel after it had closed. Furthermore, between 8 August 2018 and 13 October 2018, there have been 28 referrals identifying the Katherine Hotel as being the place of consumption of the last alcoholic drink prior to an individual being taken into police custody.

On 20 October 2018, an intoxicated male was arrested outside the Katherine Hotel after fighting and engaging in disorderly behaviour within view of the public that may have been within the Katherine Central Business District at the time of offending.   

Criminal prosecutions under the Liquor Act are progressing for some of the aforementioned matters.

“I have considered the information provided to me in relation to these allegations, including the repeat nature of the incidents. The level of drunkenness and the correlation between alcohol consumption and offending (in particular domestic and family violence) is sufficient in my view that further offence of this type are likely, which would pose a threat to public safety, should alcohol service remain available to the community,” Commander (Central Command) Michael Hebb said.

Accordingly, Commander Hebb has exercised his power under s48 and the liquor licence referred to as Katherine Hotel is suspended commencing 4.00pm 25 October 2018 until 4.00pm 27 October, 2018 (a period of not more than 48 hours).

“Working with our community is incredibly important, as they are often our eyes and ears. This is a timely reminder to the community to report any instances of crime to police on 131 444, or 000 where urgent police attendance is required. The community can also provide information regarding crime anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” Mr Hebb said.