New South African law could allow children to buy alcohol

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A bill could allow underage South Australians to buy alcohol online without having to prove they are of legal age. Image: PIC FILE

A shocking flaw has been discovered that would allow underage South Australians to buy alcohol online without having to prove they are of legal age.

The state government will introduce the bill to amend the 2021 (Miscellaneous) Alcohol Licensing Bill to parliament this week, but health and community groups say mandatory age checks must be introduced for ensure that alcohol is not sold to children online.

Director of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Caterina Giorgi, said it was “disappointing” that the current bill to be tabled in parliament does not include the obligation to verify a proof of age identification.

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She said the bill, in its current form, did not hold liquor companies accountable for the controls the community expected to be in place.

“We need to address the loopholes in our laws on alcohol deliveries, including the requirement to verify standards such as verification of identity documents,” Ms. Giorgi said.

The head of the Alcohol and Drugs Foundation, Dr Erin Lalor, agreed, saying the state government would be failing in its duty to protect children if it passed the bill as is.

“Right now, the South African parliament has the opportunity to ensure that we do all we can to keep families and communities safe by introducing common sense measures on the sale and delivery of alcohol. online, ”she said.

NCA NewsWire understands that the government will propose that IDs be verified by a driver upon delivery – after purchase.

Advocacy groups say a new law due to be tabled in South Australia's parliament could allow children to buy alcohol.  Image: iStock / Rawf8
Advocacy groups say a new law due to be tabled in South Australia’s parliament could allow children to buy alcohol. Image: iStock / Rawf8

The groups are also asking that there be no unattended alcohol deliveries and that there be a two hour delay between ordering and delivery to stop the rapid supply of alcohol to people who may be in condition. intoxicated or managing an alcohol addiction.

Their appeals were supported by the head of the SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services, Michael White, who said there had been a missed opportunity to support people suffering from alcohol addiction.

“Support services have seen many people suffer from alcohol dependence during the pandemic,” he said.

“This bill allows for the expansion of rapid home delivery of alcohol, which will only complicate the lives of these individuals and their families.”

In November last year, the South African government announced it would introduce new laws that would allow bars, restaurants and clubs to deliver alcohol with take out.

Under the legislation, licensees are allowed to sell either two bottles of wine or one bottle of wine and a six-pack of pre-mixed beers, ciders or spirits with take-out.

More than 700 SA companies have successfully applied for the temporary license which was first introduced earlier in 2020 during the lockdown.

Under the bill, the arrangements will be made permanent.

The government did not respond to questions about the loophole for children to buy alcohol, but Attorney General Vickie Chapman said the proposed changes would strengthen prohibition orders and the regulation of the delivery of alcohol. alcohol the same day.

She said it would also increase the transparency of license applications.

“These changes aim to strike a balance between protecting the community from alcohol-related harm and increasing transparency for alcohol license applicants,” said Ms. Chapman.

“The changes would strengthen existing laws and better regulate the sale of take-out alcohol and the delivery of alcohol in South Australia.”

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