Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Drunk Town

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  • andrew r, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ha - sounds real good. Good for you guys, and go disaster radio .

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 76 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    FWIW my experience is that there are plenty of bars that are clearly very diligent. Granted, I tend to frequent pubs hosting live original music, so possibly a specific client base, but (for example) I've had Sale St staff bringing me glasses of water (I wasn't drunk - just very, very tired), and the Wine Cellar bartender double-checking the people I'm about to buy a round of drinks for. I assumed this would be the rule and not the exception, but as stated, I don't generally frequent bars where drinking is the sole end. What's the viaduct like?

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Heather Gaye,

    I assumed this would be the rule and not the exception, but as stated, I don’t generally frequent bars where drinking is the sole end.

    Same. That's why I'm not inclined to shovel all the blame on licence holders.

    What’s the viaduct like?

    We all avoid it, don't we? It's not hard to see alarmingly drunk people down that end of town, but I'm not sure whether the drinking is all done in bars.

    The QF Tavern on Queen Street (right near the Herald) seems to be a popular place for hard-out drinking -- cheap drinks -- but again, that's somewhere I wouldn't dream of going.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18657 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to bob daktari,

    If the youth had more optimism in their lives (refer to lack of jobs) I doubt there would be such a violent attitude displayed by some on the streets (good gear would help too) – with that in mind there does seem to be more groups of youths looking for fights than even 18 months ago… and I put that down to anger at their lot in life (refer jobs et al), not drinking in itself – and it seems to be very locale driven, I rarely feel threatened on K Rd, Queen st however…

    In England, which is grappling with this issue up to 11, the fact that it ranks high on the ephebiphobia scale only seems to pour petrol on the fire.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4136 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Do you get outraged by reports that Sky City is used by Asian gangsters for running their criminal enterprises?

    I suspect a lot of people don't, because it's probably laundered beyond all recognition.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4136 posts Report Reply

  • Roger,

    I do get really tired of this; "We have a problem, pass another law" knee-jerk reaction that seems to becoming a New Zealand cultural response when we already have far too many laws.

    I was a strong supporter of dropping the drinking age as it was a law that was mostly honoured in the breach, bring the system into disrepute. Foolishly I assumed that the deal was that we would drop the age two years to reflect the ages of people actually in the bars, and then enforce it. Nothing like that happened of course and the default drinking age dropped from 18 or so where it was down to 16 or younger.

    We do not need new laws, split age systems or a newer higher drinking age, we just need to actually enforce what we have. As a bar owner in the US said to me when I questioned being carded at age 40+... "If I am found with just one under age drinker in the bar that is my license gone, so no proof of age - no entry and that means everyone".

    Then we just need to deal with the adults supplying drink to the kids. We really have an issue when schools wont let parents take their own children from a school ball to an after-ball because they can't trust the parents not facilitate them to get pissed.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Presumably, kids pre-load cos the drinks in bars are too expensive for them and, therefore, they drink less once inside. If alcohol was more expensive outside of bars, reflecting the potential damage it causes, then perhaps there would be less pre-loading as well. (It was amazing this weekend to see one of our local bar owners buying up 20 cases of Corona from the supermarket cos it is much cheaper than he can buy it wholesale.)
    I only get into the city every couple of months for an evening out and I can handle seeing some drunk, raucous people (used to be one) but I don't want to be threatened and have my evening spoiled. Lots of people having a good time is great but aggresive assholes soon ruin a night out.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 249 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    It was amazing this weekend to see one of our local bar owners buying up 20 cases of Corona from the supermarket cos it is much cheaper than he can buy it wholesale.

    A winery employee of my acquaintance has told his friends not to bother asking him for staff-priced booze, because the staff just go to the supermarkets and buy their employer's label when it's on special. Something is wrong when retail is cheaper than the pricing available to employees of the manufacturer.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Roger,

    Then we just need to deal with the adults supplying drink to the kids. We really have an issue when schools wont let parents take their own children from a school ball to an after-ball because they can’t trust the parents not facilitate them to get pissed.

    But the people vomiting and fighting in town very largely aren't 16 year-olds. They're officially adults.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18657 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Roger,

    We do not need new laws, split age systems or a newer higher drinking age, we just need to actually enforce what we have.

    Amen. I've been saying that for as long as this debate has been going on. We were promised strict enforcement when the age was lowered. Have we had strict enforcement? Have we hell. The cops and the councils try, but it has to be extraordinarily demoralising when you see repeat offenders keeping their licences despite egregious breaches of the law and of their duty of care. It certainly does absolutely nothing to any incentive to comply when you know the worst you're likely to face is a suspension of your licence for 24- or 48-hours and you will probably be allowed to implement that over a Sunday/Monday.

    Abolish the presumption of a right to sell alcohol. Make the first offence hurt a lot (say a fortnight suspension and $10k fine), and make a second offence terminal to the licence - including forbidding associated persons from being granted a new licence, to stop family members or phoenix companies from simply taking over the licence.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    If we want to curb liquor consumption, get the stuff out of supermarkets, stop all off-licence sales after 9pm on Friday to midday on Monday and set a minimum price for alcohol.

    I don't think the supermarket idea would work and would inconvenience many people. From my experience teenagers buy their alcohol from liquor stores. Also I find liquor stores are far more likely to sell alcohol to people under-age than supermarkets. When I was under-age, my friends and I would always go to certain liquor stores we knew would sell to us; we knew not to even try supermarkets as we'd get nowhere.

    If you are going to allow alcohol to be sold then I don't see why supermarkets can't sell it. If price is the problem then you increase excise tax, mandate a minimum price etc.

    But really as others have mentioned this isn't the type of problem that can be fixed by simply passing a law.

    Since Jun 2010 • 295 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    If anything I think NZ doesn't have a drinking problem, it's got a violence problem, and the booze just brings it out.

    True. More cultural maturity in that area would help us.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16424 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    repeat offenders keeping their licences despite egregious breaches of the law and of their duty of care

    name and shame weak judges?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16424 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Sacha,

    True. More cultural maturity in that area would help us.

    There have been proposals in Britain for a 'licence to drink'...

    * Give people a drinking licence, and take it away if they cause enough damage
    * 'People should need a licence to drink'

    There is one area that might be safe to crack the regulatory whip, and that's alcopops - essentially Joe Camel in a bottle.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4136 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Sacha,

    Agggh.

    I worked for a while in the District Licensing Agency - the guys that hand out licences.

    What I learnt is this; it is ridiculously easy to get a licence, and very difficult for the authorities to take it away from you.

    Shouldn't it be the other way around? Very difficult to get and very easy to lose?

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    What is there a moral dilemma de jour about the way people are behaving when their consciousness is altered? OK drunk, not reeelly an altered state.

    Well I never!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1171 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to bmk,

    I don’t think the supermarket idea would work and would inconvenience many people. From my experience teenagers buy their alcohol from liquor stores

    That. Supermarkets dont have those supervisors running to check every sale of alcohol for nothing-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to bob daktari,

    If the youth had more optimism in their lives (refer to lack of jobs) I doubt there would be such a violent attitude displayed...

    Word.

    Prohibition doesn't work (Saudi Arabia, where booze is totally illegal, has a *higher* rate of alcohol related deaths than New Zealand).

    Improving people's life-outlook and self respect might.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4412 posts Report Reply

  • dcnbwz, in reply to Sacha,

    Thirded. The readiness to resort to violence, and in some cases serious group violence is disturbing, and that more than anything to me contributes to the unsafeness I've felt in Ak central. Even k'rd seems to switch after 11pm, and there doesn't seem to be a hell of a lot of good will out there.

    It's always been there, and is also indicative of a trend of western youth culture too. It really does reinforce immaturity.

    uk • Since Sep 2009 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    I'm with Rich and bob on this. I find the popularity of the more punitive and coercive solutions to be disconcerting. There was a time when the working classes only luxuries were alcohol and tobacco but these are increasingly being put beyond their reach...and people are applauding these measures???

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • hanuman,

    I live on K Rd, and don't feel threatened in the slightest. The homeless/prostitutes/street drunks who congregate at my end seem more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence. The douchebags congregate further down... as others have said above, the problem isn't drunks, it's violent drunks. People need to tell their friends, 'Hey, when you get drunk you turn into an arsehole, how 'bout not drinking?' Cos y'know, most people are capable of getting pretty wasted and not doing anything unforgivably twattish.

    I'm 27, so young but not a 'yoof', and yes, I 'pre-load'. It costs $7 minimum for a drink at a bar. Working part-time, on a low wage (as are all my student/muso friends), buy more than a couple of those in a week and you won't be eating. Yet we want to go out and socialise. If you wanna see a few bands, you'll be at a bar for a few hours, and nursing a drink for that long is hard (and some bar staff will give you dirty looks.) It's easier to nurse a beer for an hour and a half if you're already slaked and got a buzz on.

    So what've the Herald/TVNZ got to say about this? That I have no God-given right, as one of those young broke people, to go out and have a good time? I should be working night shift at a service station instead so I can make that 5% deposit on a unit in Glen Eden and become an actual home-owning human being/Real Kiwi? Fine, just say so, and continue wondering why young everyone moves overseas. F***ing killjoys.

    wgtn • Since Aug 2008 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to hanuman,

    It’s easier to nurse a beer for an hour and a half if you’re already slaked and got a buzz on.

    Yeah, that's totally fair enough. It's just a bit alarming the way some people seem to approach it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18657 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    I don't go into town (Auckland) as I regard it as unpleasant, unsafe and largely a filthy suckhole.

    Having worked nights in the City for six or more years Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon - what gave me the shits was the groups of geezer or single aggro dudes who would come in tanked (and sometimes not) looking to king hit someone and then kick the crap out of them as they lay on the ground - largely to watch someone get hurt and then boast about it, I saw some real bad stuff like this just erupt for no reason at all – it was at times insanity on a stick.

    IMHO it is what is bubbling underneath that is the problem - if a person or group of people are already aggro for one reason or another, or for no reason at all, then them getting tanked, at home or in town, or preloading and then going to town - eventually makes for a dangerous and life threatening nuisance.

    Maybe RWC last year - lots of police overtime used up - tighter budgets - perhaps there are less police about at present on party nights and as a result less of a lid upon the whole drunk and disorderly thang that Len Browne and others are presently banging on about.

    I can't see the proliferation of liquor outlets in the burbs as a good thang – nor the general attitude to the role of alcohol in society – We don’t seem to have a lot of respect for ourselves or others as a general rule – that statement is a bit too broad but it is part of it.

    Part of the solution proposed is to issue instant fines - just classic Council bollocks - lets have wardens and police issuing instant fines to drunken yobs - that will really suck.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1184 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    What I learnt is this; it is ridiculously easy to get a licence, and very difficult for the authorities to take it away from you.

    Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Very difficult to get and very easy to lose?

    Well, yes, that logic seems to work on the face of it, and I wouldn't oppose such a system, but count me with those who point to cultural, social, and perhaps personal problems being the real cause. Why? Because China is also a binge drinking culture, and the only similar problems with violence I see are in more "Western" booze districts like Sanlitun. In more "traditionally Chinese" areas - i.e. most of the country - I can watch people get absolutely hammered and, although sometimes I might not be entirely comfortable knowing some possible results of the mix of ethanol and men, I won't be worried. Why? Because it is extremely rare for people to get violent towards strangers here, and on those extremely rare occasions the others step in to stop that one dickhead from doing anything stupid. *Gross generalisation*, but here people drink to actually enjoy themselves and have a good time with friends and family.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2001 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    As you say there’s certainly considerably less public violence Chris, I feel safe on the streets here, the last time I was in Auckland I didn’t feel safe enough to go into town. The only instance of drunken stranger on stranger violence I can recall in Beijing was in Dong Cheng, a group of hooligans bottling a friend’s wife, knocking out her tooth, allegedly for being with a foreigner at a restaurant. I am concerned that in it is a little too easy to overlook the ever pervasive “家丑不可外扬” <home ugliness can not be scattered>- “what happens in the home stays in the home” mentality.

    Domestic violence poses a severe threat to women’s rights in China with the authorities receiving about 50,000 complaints annually

    A report from the All China Women’s Federation released last year found that 64 percent of Chinese adults have experienced violence at home at some point.

    How much of that can be attributed to alcohol remains moot but it stands to reason that it must be an aggravating factor to some extent.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 890 posts Report Reply

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