Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2019. 10:00 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has issued an internal memo to his officers on the sale of liquor.
More specifically, he is asking his officers to take more seriously, in the interest of public safety, offenses listed under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act.
Explaining that police analysis has found a high number of murders and violent incidents in which alcohol usage is a factor, and suspecting that in combination with accidents on the roads alcohol may be responsible for one in every two deaths in Belize, Williams announced that greater control of alcohol use and consumption will drive down this figure.
“Now it is not to say that we are telling anybody whether or not they should consume alcohol. We are simply saying if you consume alcohol you must do it lawfully…to every time a bar closes, it’s a plus for me. The less bars we have, the better our society is going to be,” the Commissioner stated.
Police will crack down on public drinking, assembling in front of stores selling alcohol; minors buying or selling alcohol or going to nightclubs, and extended hours for licensees selling alcohol.
In conjunction with the municipal boards, Williams said, another memorandum will challenge opening and operation of establishments selling alcohol too close to churches, schools and other vulnerable areas. He cites shutdowns in Belmopan, Dangriga, and the closure of the former Pier One Bar at the B.T.L. Park in Belize City. Also, limitation of extensions to nightclubs and publican licensees and segregation of areas selling alcohol at public events is on the menu.
Commissioner Williams made clear that “minor offenses” related to alcohol invariably lead to greater offenses, and so police would be well-served to address the former to avoid having to deal with the latter.
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