Magistrates armed with drink bans

BEING breath tested while walking along the street could become a regular thing for people found guilty of drunken violence.

Local Magistrate Athol Kennedy suggested on Monday during a sitting at Proserpine Magistrates' Court that bonds and bail conditions with alcohol bans could become a more regular thing for people found guilty of violent offences when drunk.

Mr Kennedy said that the high numbers of people appearing in court charged with offences while under the influence meant something had to change.

During the sentencing of an offender found guilty of assault, Mr Kennedy said alcohol bans where offenders could be tested by police at any time, was an option for Magistrates.

“People are going to have to start being put on bonds where they can't drink alcohol,” he said.

“People have got a right to drink alcohol but people have got a right not to be assaulted by people drinking alcohol.”

Mr Kennedy said he had recently placed a young man in Bowen on a bond which included a stipulation that he couldn't drink alcohol.

“Alcohol is not necessarily a good thing and it is not necessarily a bad thing; it is how people react to it and how we use it,” he said.

His idea has won the support of police with Whitsunday Senior Constable John Bentley saying that anything that helps curb drunken anti-social behaviour is a good thing.

“With such a concentration of licensed premises in the main street there is always the potential for these types of people to cause trouble,” he said.

“Most incidents in the main street involve alcohol.

“These sort of sanctions are probably one way of curbing that.”

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