Homeless and Marginalised people have long been used to bearing the brunt of heavy handed treatment by enforcement officers and arbitrarily applied laws in questionable circumstances. But two Wests leagues club barmaids have just been fined $550 each for serving a customer displaying no traits of being affected by alcohol. We are used to and oppose people being charged with being drunk where the sole proof is “in the opinion of a police officer.” Tales abound of tired workers calling in for a beer on the way home being convicted on their first sip and speech afflicted persons being convicted because their slurred speech was considered a reasonable indicator that the person was drunk. Police have readily available and inexpensive to apply alcohol teasting equipment.

 But in this new twist, bar staff can now face charges and be convicted on the same dangerous presumption of a police officer. That is, according to the perverse logic by which these bar staff were convicted, they are guilty of serving alcohol to someone who in the opinion of a police officer, is drunk. In the case just published, the police officer is said to have made the decision on the basis that the person removed had “high fived” someone. Interestingly, it takes two people to high five, so why was only person removed. And if this is indeed an indication of drunkenness and an acceptable legal definition, then look forward to the banning of multiple athletes and perhaps the entire Olympic team losing their medals as most do this; we thought in celebration of their success, but no, they were actually legally drunk!!!

 And again, the NSW Government should hang its head in shame, so wilfully shambolic is the law that no one can take it seriously. 

 We wish the two barmaids every success in their appeal and remind them that if they lose their jobs over it, well, theres always the foodvan…

see source article in the Tele

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