By ERWIN CHLANDA
The government are not being truthful in how they are explaining the new Alcohol Protection Orders (APOs), claiming that the previous Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) only banned people from purchasing take-away alcohol, says John Boffa (pictured), of the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition in Alice Springs.
“That is entirely not true. People banned under the previous system were banned from drinking anywhere, exactly the same as under the new APOs.
“But these are less of an imposition on drinkers than the previous BDR system which was implemented at the points of sale, and in entry to the two bars, the Todd Tavern and the Gapview Hotel, through a photo ID system,” says Dr Boffa.
“Under the new APOs people will be able to drink everywhere, including buying take-away, because no-one is going to know at the point of sale who is banned.
“From this point of view this new system is less effective. It depends on people being caught in possession of alcohol three times.
“The old system was a minor imposition on the public – having to present ID in bottle shops – but it created the collective good of prohibition orders being implemented. Without that they can’t be implemented.
“Sure, the new system allows the police to chase people, mandatorily breath test them wherever they find them, to ask people their names, to work out whether they are on this new type of BDR. But the capacity of the police is limited.
“It’s not stopping people from purchasing alcohol, which the previous system did. People will access as much alcohol as they want, they still be just as drunk as they are, and it’s up to the police to try and chase them down, and they’ll do that at some level.
“But at a population level, compared to the BDR which made it very difficult for banned people to obtain alcohol, the APOs are going to have much less impact.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA