Bars now required to verify age of patrons before serving alcohol

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The Intoxicating Liquor Licensing (Amendment) Bill 2022 has been tabled, and aims to minimise alcohol-related road accidents and fatalities by instituting harsher penalties.

On Monday, the Bill was introduced into the National Assembly where it was read for the first time.

It expands on the definition of a drunken person. The Bill requires liquor store owners to exercise better judgement when selling alcohol to persons who may manifest behaviours commonly associated with liquor intoxication.

Once debated and passed into law, the amended Act will require liquor stores to discourage drinking and driving, by refraining from selling alcohol to drunken persons who are likely to drive after leaving the business place.

The sale of alcohol to a designated driver will also be prohibited.

Additionally, liquor store owners will be required to report to the Police any person who is intoxicated and attempts to drive or is in charge of a vehicle.

The Bill proposes increased fines for breaching its provisions, ranging from $100,000 on the first offence to $200,000 for the second offence.

Currently, the law stipulates a $4000 fine for the first offence, and $10,000 for the second offence.

In a bid to protect minors from consuming alcohol, the Bill requires liquor stores to verify the age of patrons prior to their entry into the establishment.

Harsher penalties are also proposed for any holder of a liquor licence who employs a minor to supply, sell or assist in the sale of alcohol.

First time offenders will pay $500,000 and $600,000 to $1 million for subsequent offences