Alcohol Advisory Council of NZ: Irresponsible to expect 15-Year old to challenge for ID

Thursday 14 July 2011, 10:13AM

It’s irresponsible for a superette to rely on a 15-year-old employee to make judgement calls round the sale of alcohol to teenagers, says Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) Environments and Settings manager Andrew Galloway.

Mr Galloway was commenting on a Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) in the Kapiti/Otaki area last weekend where a 15-year-old employee of a superette sold alcohol twice to CPO volunteers.

Mr Galloway said while it was legal for the superette who held an off-licence to employ a 15-year-old who might have to sell alcohol along with other convenience store items as long as the premises did not have a restricted designation, it was unfair to expect the teenager to have the experience or possibly the confidence to challenge other teenagers for identification.

A 15-year-old in that position would also find it challenging to refuse service to patrons who may already be intoxicated and be attempting to purchase further liquor. “The sale of liquor is a challenging and serious responsibility and should be carefully supervised by confident and responsible retailers, preferably under the supervision of a certificated duty manager.”

Mr Galloway said the system supermarkets employed where a manager had to authorise any alcohol sales although not foolproof would give protection to young employees.

Mr Galloway said anyone who sold alcohol to a minor could face a fine of up to $2000. “The duty manager may also face sanctions and the licence is put in jeopardy in cases such as this. This can have dire consequences for the business. Worse still, liquor can end up in the hands of people that the law says shouldn’t be buying it. It’s in everyone’s best interest that the sale of liquor is managed carefully.”

For further information or comment contact ALAC Corporate Communications Manager Lynne Walsh on 021 369 081.