Hilltops Council have resolved to re-establish an Alcohol Free Zone in Young which will be in place for a four year period until June 20, 2022.
The time had lapsed on the previous four-year period which meant the council needed to review its decision for the continuation of the zone. Council implemented the current zones in accordance with the requirements of Section 644 of the Local Government Act.
In NSW, you may openly drink on any street, park or carpark unless the local council has designated that area an alcohol free zone or an alcohol prohibited area. These must be marked with conspicuous signs that must state that drinking alcohol is prohibited in the zone/area, and specify the period during which the prohibition will operate.
Mayor Brian Ingram said there was a demonstrated need for the zone to remain and this was evident from requests the council received from the local Police to re-establish an Alcohol Free Zone.
“As a council we place huge importance on the safety of our community and therefore we are guided by police when making decisions based on public safety,” he said.
Officer in Charge of Young, Detective Inspector Scott Wilkinson said establishing the zone was important.
“It is a useful tool for police in dealing with street level hoodlum behavior,” he said. “There is a tendency that the risk of offensive behavior or offences against people and property increases if people gather in groups and drink in public places.
“This is just another tool to prevent bad behavior happening. The people most likely to be drinking in public places are juveniles that have gotten their hands on booze illegally and this is a good measure to prevent that from occurring. We know that young people engage in risk taking behavior and alcohol exacerbates those risk taking behaviors.”
A police officer may confiscate alcohol in an Alcohol Free Zone if they believe you are drinking, are about to drink, or have recently been drinking. Refusing an order to tip out your alcohol can result in a potential maximum penalty of $2,200.