Law would crack down on violence

VIOLENT drunks are the target of legislation that was introduced into the Victorian Parliament on Thursday.

The bad news for people deemed in that category is a two-year ban from licensed premises throughout the state.

Attorney-General Robert Clark said the legislation’s aim was to make the streets safer and prevent violent offenders from entering pubs, clubs and other licensed venues.

Under the new laws, anyone convicted of an offence involving violence while affected by alcohol will be automatically banned from entering licensed premises for two years.

The proposed legislation is some time off being proclaimed, but police are enthusiastic about its application.

Inspector Tony Davis from Wodonga welcomed the legislation and said what is foreshadowed sounds good.

He said anything that prevents violence against members of the public and police was a benefit to the community.

Insp Clark said violent attacks are all too often linked to the over consumption of alcohol in and around licensed premises.

“This ban will send a very strong message to would-be offenders that any form of alcohol-fuelled violence will have serious consequences for their social life on top of any other penalty,” he said.

“In future, any would-be young offender thinking of getting drunk and starting a fight will know that for two years they will be banned from going to a pub with their mates, or taking their girlfriend out to a nightclub.

“Keeping violent drunks away from licensed premises will also help make those premises safer for young people and others who want to have a safe and enjoyable night out.”

The ban will start from the end of any jail term imposed, but if no jail term is imposed, the exclusion will start immediately.

Judges will have limited discretion to grant exemptions in cases such as where an offender needs to enter licensed premises for work purposes.

But no such exemption will be available to authorise the consumption of alcohol on the premises.

The ban will apply to entering any part of most licensed premises such as bars, nightclubs and restaurants, and to the bar area of all other licensed premises.

It will also be a further offence to consume alcohol at any licensed premises.

Each offence will carry a penalty of up to two years’ jail.

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