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​Resturant prosecuted, fined $3000 and incurs strike over drunk patron

Friday 19 December 2014      [PDF, 65kb]

A Sydney licensed restaurant, At Bangkok, has been convicted and fined $3,000 and incurred a strike under the Three Strikes scheme for allowing intoxication.

Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) inspectors conducting compliance inspections in the Sydney CBD Entertainment precinct on 8 March 2014 visited the restaurant at Capitol Square in George Street at about 2.30am.

Inspectors observed patrons at tables free-pouring beer from beer tower dispensers and being allowed to free pour spirits unattended by restaurant staff.

An intoxicated female patron was observed unsteady on her feet, leaning on a table to support herself, unable to speak properly, and fall into another patron’s lap. The woman confirmed she had been at the restaurant for about two hours and been consuming alcohol, with CCTV footage showing her clearly intoxicated and needing assistance to visit the bathroom.

OLGR Director of Compliance Anthony Keon said individual and public safety was put at risk from alcohol-related harm when venues did not ensure responsible service.

"All licensed venues are required to adopt and encourage responsible attitudes and practices towards the promotion, service and consumption of alcohol," Mr Keon said.

"Allowing patrons to self serve alcohol without appropriate supervision increases the risk of intoxication and alcohol-related harm.

"By law, licensees and staff must prevent the excessive consumption of alcohol on the premises, must not sell or supply alcohol to an intoxicated person, and must remove from the premises immediately or refuse entry to an intoxicated person.

"In this instance, patrons were allowed to free pour beer and spirits into the early hours of the morning at a late trading Sydney CBD venue where a serious intoxication offence was identified. Not only does intoxication leave individuals at risk of harm but also increases the risk of alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour.

"OLGR will take disciplinary action against licensees or venue managers found to be disregarding their responsible service obligations."

OLGR prosecuted At Bangkok’s licensee, Som Chai Muinying , and also issued the restaurant with a notice under Section 102A of the Liquor Act banning the use of beer towers given the circumstances which encouraged the misuse and abuse of alcohol.

Mr Muinying pleaded guilty to one charge of permitting intoxication. The restaurant stated the woman had been denied further drinks prior to the arrival of OLGR inspectors and was allowed to remain on the premises so that her companions could escort her back to her hotel.

Mr Muinying was convicted in Sydney Local Court on 12 December 2014 and fined $3,000. As a result, the restaurant also incurs a first strike under the Three Strikes disciplinary scheme.

In convicting Mr Muinying, the Magistrate stated that the offending was serious, the offence could have attracted a maximum potential penalty of $11,000, and that intoxication was a constant problem in the CBD criminal justice system and was inconsistent with the needs and aspirations of the community.

OLGR publishes Intoxication Guidelines and Liquor Promotion Guidelines to help licensees and their staff determine whether a person is intoxicated and to ensure promotions do not contribute to the misuse and abuse of alcohol: