Bootlegger-busting alcohol restrictions to stay

ADDITIONAL restrictions on takeaway grog sales in Darwin have been extended for another week after an initial seven-day trial came to an end yesterday.

The restrictions, which mean customers in the greater Darwin area must either produce a form of ID with a local address on it or show they have a place of residence where they can legally indulge in a tipple, when buying alcohol.

The restrictions were brought in under emergency powers held by the Director of Liquor Licensing after NT Police raised concerns about a recent spike in grog running to dry communities.

A spokeswoman for the director said while it was still too early to say whether the first week of the restrictions being in place had had the desired effect of deterring bootleggers, they would now remain until September 27 when they will be subject to further review and can be extended again if necessary.


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"NT Police recently raised concerns with the Director of Liquor Licensing regarding numerous incidents of persons attempting to unlawfully transport (i.e. grog running) large volumes of liquor to Top End communities that are located in alcohol restricted areas," she said.

"This illegal and irresponsible activity has the potential to negatively impact on the wellbeing of the wider community, particularly some of the most vulnerable, women and children."

The spokeswoman said the measures were not designed to put a brake on responsible drinking and would not stop tourists getting on the sauce as long as they weren't breaking the law.

"The determination is not intended to inconvenience responsible drinkers, including overseas and interstate tourists, cattle station owners, persons travelling to Territory parks, reserves and campgrounds and persons returning to their usual place of residence," she said.

When the restrictions were first announced last Monday, Acting Assistant Commissioner Bradley Currie said police had seized more than 100 bottles of rum in a single bust in recent months.

"This has a significant impact," he said.

"We have seen an increase in alcohol related incidents in remote communities.

"Residents may also be left unable to purchase food, fuel or other essential goods and services."

Originally published as Bootlegger-busting alcohol restrictions to stay for another week