NAAA calls for loopholes to be removed from liquor laws so that families and communities are safe from alcohol-fuelled harm

The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA) is calling on the NSW Parliament to close loopholes around online sales and delivery of alcohol so that families and communities can be kept safe from alcohol-fuelled harm at home.

NAAA Co-Chair Dr John Crozier said the NSW Parliament has the opportunity to reduce alcohol-fuelled harms by requiring ID checks when alcohol is sold online and by stopping companies from rapidly delivering alcohol to people.

“Right now, a person’s age does not need to be checked when they buy alcohol online and companies can rapidly deliver alcohol to intoxicated people,” said Dr Crozier.

“Vulnerable people, particularly children and families, are likely to be harmed by businesses rapidly delivering alcohol products to homes late at night.”

Dr Crozier said that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dangers of online sales and delivery of alcohol products.

“Since March, levels of alcohol-fuelled harm, such as domestic violence and risky drinking, have risen. At the same time, online sales and delivery of alcohol products have increased significantly.”

“We know that the risk of alcohol-fuelled harms, such as suicide and family violence are more likely to occur in the home late at night.”

The NAAA is calling for changes to the Liquor Amendment Bill 2020 so that families and communities can be kept safe from alcohol-fuelled harms. This can be done by:

  • Amending the cut-off-times for alcohol delivery, so that latest delivery is 9pm instead of midnight, and earliest delivery is midday instead of 5am. This is due to the known risk of greater alcohol harms in the home later at night, such as suicide and family violence.
  • Introducing a delay of two hours between order and delivery. Evidence shows delivery within 2 hours is associated with risky alcohol use. A delivery delay will reduce the risk of alcohol supply to people who are intoxicated, which will also increase the personal safety for delivery agents.
  • Extending the offence to supply alcohol to a person who is intoxicated to all deliveries, not just same day delivery. Alcohol supply to an intoxicated person should be an offence regardless of how long a delivery takes.
  • Reintroducing the requirement to verify age at point of sale to prevent alcohol being sold to children, and extend it to all alcohol deliveries, not just same day delivery.

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