Waitakere Police say a recent Court judgement whereby a young man was convicted for holding an unlicensed party should be a deterrent for any others who are considering similar events where no liquor licence has been obtained.
Police say that a 20 year old male organised an unlicensed party in Kelston in August 2010. The man rented a factory warehouse for the purpose of a party.
The location was considered unsafe to accommodate large numbers of people.
The man did not obtain a liquor licence nor did he hold a Managers Certificate to work in the Liquor industry. The party attracted almost 500 people. They paid $10 each to attend. Many of these were young people who were able to consume alcohol unsupervised. Food was not provided nor considered and the security consisted of less than five people who were all friends of the organiser.
At about 1.30am as a result of disorder at the party the organiser called Police for assistance. There were a number of arrests for fighting and street disorder. Police closed the party down.
Constable Aaron Morris is the Alcohol Harm Reduction Officer at Waitakere. He says anyone planning such a party over the Festive season would be well advised to consider the status of the liquor laws and the ramifications of holding an unlicensed party. There is a maximum penalty of $20,000 if convicted of such an offence.
“It is illegal to simply hire a venue and organise a party when there is going to be alcohol present. It doesn’t matter if people BYO their alcohol. It’s still illegal to organise this type of party if there is alcohol present. The building owners are also liable for prosecution in this situation.”
“The Police get involved to ensure that the right planning and organisation is in place and that it’s run by suitable persons. If the venue is a private residence then this criteria does not apply,” he said.
“In the majority of cases the venue is an industrial or vacant location. The result is that hundreds of under age people hear about the event through social media networks. They flock to the venue and consume alcohol unsupervised.”
“We encourage organisers planning such events to discuss their proposals with us, to ensure they are run safely and in accordance with the law. Police will not tolerate disorderly behaviour by drunken youths”, Constable Aaron Morris said.