Phase II of Public Consultation on Strengthening Measures on Liquor Sale and Consumption in Public Places

MHA

Ministry of Home Affairs - Joint Ops Division

Consultation Period: 16 Jun 2014 - 31 Jul 2014
Status: Closed
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Summary

The Ministry of Home Affairs invites the public to provide feedback on the proposals to control liquor sale and consumption in public places.

Detailed Description

Phase II of Public Consultation on Strengthening Measures on Liquor Sale and Consumption in Public Places

Ministry of Home Affairs

Strengthening Measures on Liquor Sale and Consumption in Public Places
Consultation Period: 16 June 2014 – 31 July 2014

Introduction

The Ministry of Home Affairs invites the public to provide feedback on the proposals to control liquor sale and consumption in public places.

Background

2.    MHA is reviewing the measures to control liquor sale and consumption in public places. This seeks to address concerns of safety issues and disamenities that could potentially arise from people congregating and drinking in public places. As part of the review, MHA is consulting various stakeholders in the community. The first phase of the consultation was carried out between 29 October and 31 December 2013, via the REACH portal and focus-group discussions. We sought views on two measures, namely designating no-alcohol zones at public places, and shortening of sale hours of alcohol at retail outlets.

Public Feedback and Support for Measures

3.    The majority of the respondents supported the two measures. 83% of the respondents who commented on the proposal to designate no-alcohol zones in public places, and 76% of those who commented on the proposal to shorten retail sale hours of alcohol for off-premise consumption, expressed support for the respective measures.

4.    On restricting alcohol consumption in public places, the respondents indicated congregation hotspots, and common areas within the neighbourhood such as playgrounds, void decks, and the areas around MRT stations, as areas that could be designated as no-alcohol zones. Many expressed support to curb incidence of public nuisance, and protect the community from safety threats posed by people congregating and drinking in public late at night. Some respondents commented that we should take a targeted approach and implement restrictions in places where the problems are significant, while others commented that we should be mindful to not displace problems from one area to another. There was also feedback that the rules must be simple to understand and comply with.

5.    The respondents also welcomed the proposal to shorten sale hours of alcohol at retail outlets. This restricts the supply of alcohol late at night, and minimizes incidences of violence and nuisance cases induced by alcohol intoxication. The respondents also generally stated their preference for such retail sale of alcohol to end by 12am in residential area and 2am in the entertainment districts.

Next Phase of Public Consultation

6.    MHA is looking at various options available to put the two measures into effect.

Measure 1: Restriction on public consumption of alcohol

7.    The following table illustrates the models and practices adopted in other jurisdictions to restrict public consumption of alcohol, and their pros and cons.

Measure 2: Shortening sale hours of alcohol at retail outlets

8.    Even with the restriction on public consumption of alcohol, there may be transient visitors, or inconsiderate people who do not abide by the rules and continue to create nuisance. To better control the situation, the supply of alcohol can be restricted by ending its retail sale for off-premise consumption at an earlier time. This is practised in other jurisdictions, such as New South Wales.

9.    In Singapore, licensed retail outlets are currently allowed to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, except at commercial zones where there are some residential units, where sale is only allowed up to 3am.

Submission

10.    We welcome your views on the above measures. Please send your feedback to us via email: reach@reach.gov.sg.

11.    We seek your support to ensure that the consultation exercise is productive and focused, and would like to request that respondents follow these guidelines:-

a) Identify yourself and the organisation you represent (if any), as that would assist us to understand of the perspective of various stakeholder groups; and

b) Make your comments clear and concise;

12.    Your feedback is important to us. All views and comments received will be considered. However, we regret that we will not be able to separately address or acknowledge every comment we receive. Instead, we will consolidate and publish a summary of the key comments received with our response, on the REACH website after the consultation exercise closes together with the results gathered from the 1st phase of consultation. The closing date for the submission is 31 July 2014.

Thank you.