“We accept the decision to trial an extension of the lockout and last drinks times for venues, however we’re concerned by the decision to extend bottle shop closures by an hour. Extending the hours when alcohol can be purchased increases the number and severity of alcohol-related problems. Conversely, a reduction in these hours can contribute to a decrease in these same problems. Over the last two years our Hospital has seen a 44% decrease in trauma admissions to ICU involving alcohol-related assaults.
There is a weight of evidence linking store-bought alcohol with alcohol-related violence. We hope it’s not the case but we are concerned that relaxing the bottle shop closing times creates a greater risk of alcohol-related violence – particularly family violence”.
A/Prof Nadine Ezard, Director of St Vincent’s Alcohol & Drug Service