Cork off licences to be targeted in major clampdown targeting underage drinking

Cork off licences to be targeted in major clampdown targeting underage drinking
A new initiative to help reduce underage drinking has been rolled out to primary schools.

GARDAÍ will be targeting off-licences and garages in the city in a major clampdown on the sale of alcohol to under-18s.

Underage drinking traditionally spikes during the summer, particularly in hot weather.

Acting Superintendent in the Gurranabraher garda district, Gary McPolin, has warned that off-licences and garages will be issued with closure orders if caught selling to minors.

Gardaí ran an undercover purchasing campaign in December. This resulted in a number of cautions to off-licences, but, this time, they will be seeking full prosecutions.

Supt McPolin said: “We ran a very successful operation nine months ago. A lot of garages and off-licences were cautioned for their behaviour, but, this time, there will be full prosecution. They are forewarned.

“In the next few weeks, we will be running another operation and we will most definitely be prosecuting from this.”

Superintendent McPolin said they are asking alcohol vendors to be extra careful to whom they are selling, as underage drinking continues to be a scourge on communities.

“We would ask off-licences to be vigilant in relation to who they are selling drink to, because if you have an adult, over 18, coming in repeatedly and visiting, he or she is more than likely buying it for juveniles.”

The Acting Superintendent also said licensed premises should brush up on their legal responsibilities and make staff aware of the policies in place.

“The licenser, as well as the employees, have a responsibility. If they are not familiar with the licensing laws they would want to familiarise themselves and their staff quickly.

"The Vintner's Federation of Ireland have a very good website and it is very informative so if they are unsure they should have a look."

“Staff should be briefed as well on their responsibilities.” 

The Gurranabraher garda said there would be no more chances for businesses to get away scot free with these type of offences.

“The yellow card is over. There will be closures, monetary fines and disqualification of their licence.

“They are all aware of it now, they all know we mean business.”

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