LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – From September 1 more than 1000 problem drinkers will be automatically included on the Banned Drinker Register and banned from buying takeaway alcohol.
That figure is expected to grow by 500 a month, tapering off as the bulk of problem drinkers are identified.
We know that 2500 problem drinkers were given access to alcohol when the former CLP government scrapped the BDR in 2012.
What resulted was an increase in alcohol related crime, violence and anti-social behaviour.
It was a Territory Labor Government that first introduced the BDR in 2011 and we have been working efficiently across agencies to bring it back and improve the model.
Problem drinkers will be banned if they:–
• Have any combination of three protective custodies or alcohol infringement notices in 2 years.
• Have two low range drink driving offences or a single mid-range or high-range drink driving offence.
• Are the defendant on an alcohol-related domestic violence order.
• Have an alcohol prohibition condition on a court order (including child protection orders), bail or parole order.
• Are placed on the BDR by a decision of the BDR Registrar after being referred by an authorised person such as a doctor, nurse or child protection worker, or a family member or carer.
• Self-refer for any reason.
An initial BDR ban is three months long. Breaches will see the ban increase to six months and then a year.
For people with bans of six months or more, an assessment will be offered and recommendations made by a specialist clinician about suitable therapeutic supports. Completing the recommended rehabilitation could see the ban reduced.
“Where someone believes they have been placed on the BDR in error, decisions made by police and by the BDR Registrar will be reviewable by the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The $17.2m for the BDR has been announced as part of Budget 2017 – with funding for the Department of Health and Department of Attorney-General and Justice.
Alcohol Mandatory Treatment will cease as the new BDR comes into full operation.
Temporary Beat Locations, also known as TBLs and POSIs will continue as a resource for police even after the BDR has been reinstated.
Natasha Fyles (pictured)