3 Strikes Legislation
For some time prior to the introduction of the 3 Strikes legislation in January 2012 as a result of our experience in the Section 80 Conferences in Hamilton and Wollongong our firm was urging licensees not to pay Penalty Notices without seeking expert legal advice.
However, with the 3 strikes legislation now in place, it is even more crucial for offences that are strike offences to be successfully defended, or at the very least to have the court not record a conviction (Section 10 – Crimes Act).
We strongly advise seeking expert advice before paying any Penalty Notice. If the Penalty Notice relates to a strike offence, paying it will result in the Director-General recording a first strike against the licence. The Director-General has no discretion to do otherwise – it will happen.
If you’ve paid a Penalty Notice recently, it may be still possible to elect to defend it.
For further information about this legislation see Rod’s YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjwIB2xmdlI
Major Race Meetings
Wagga Wagga Gold Cup Day
The Office of Liquor Gaming & Racing and NSW Police Alcohol Licensing and Enforcement Command (ALEC) are monitoring large race meetings in country areas to detect intoxication and other licensing breaches.
In respect of charges against a licensee of permitting intoxication, a guide may be found in a case of Williams v R which was won on appeal to the District Court to overturn the Local Court’s decision that five patrons were intoxicated on the premises and the licensee had not taken all reasonable steps to prevent the intoxication.
Her Honour found that in a large crowd of some 10,000-12,000, “the fact that only five persons were discovered is testament to the success of the plan and the appellant is to be commended rather than condemned for the successful outcome of the Gold Cup day”.
The case shouldn’t be taken to mean that if you only have five persons found intoxicated, the licensee has an automatic defence. The case involved a detailed examination of the policies, plans and preparations for the Gold Cup meeting and their the implementation on the day, in respect of which comprehensive evidence was given by the licensee both in evidence in chief and on cross examination.
We acted for the same licensee when she was again prosecuted in the immediately following year by ALEC in relation to the annual Wagga Gold Cup. His Honour Murray in the Local Court dismissed all three charges against the licensee and in the course of doing so found the District Court decision persuasive.