Christchurch City Council today agreed to impose six-month temporary alcohol bans in Papanui and Merivale public places with effect from 8 September 2011.
The temporary bans make it illegal for people to drink alcohol or carry an open container of alcoholic drink in public places in the ban areas on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6.00 pm to 6.00 am during the six-month ban period.
The temporary bans are being put in place to help address increased violence and disorder in Papanui and Merivale because more people are drinking in suburban areas since the 22 February 2011 earthquake closed hospitality venues in the Central City. The bans are temporary, rather than permanent as the displacement of patrons from the Central City is expected to ease as the cordon is progressively reduced.
Both bans will apply from 8 September 2011 to 8 March 2012 in all public spaces controlled by the Council, and on all roads, whether Council-controlled or not. It does not apply to venues with an appropriate liquor licence or to places that are open to the public such as private car parks or sports grounds.
People who breach the bans may be arrested and could be fined and held liable for court costs as well as risking a criminal conviction.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says that the bans are necessary to assist in ensuring local people and visitors to the area alike can feel safe from alcohol-related nuisance and crime.
“Most people drink responsibly but for those who don’t, these bans provide a compelling reason for them to drink sensibly at home, or on licensed premises where there are appropriate controls and supervision,” he says.
A temporary ban was also considered for Akaroa but the Council made the decision that it was not needed. They agreed with Council staff and some locals who advised that alcohol-related issues there are few and far between and there has been no increase in the number or seriousness of offences in Akaroa since the earthquakes.