Intoxicated minor’s death leads to riverina pub’s licence suspension

Department of Customer Service

The Temora Hotel will be forced to shut for 14 days from 24 December after a 17-year-old male who was served 20 schooners and four rum and cokes died in a car crash in the hours after his visit to the venue in March.

Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority Chairman Philip Crawford said the incident is about as horrific as it gets.

“The matter is subject to a police investigation and a coronial inquest, with the Authority’s decision to suspend the hotel’s licence triggered by the sale of alcohol to a minor and the licensee’s complete failure to manage the risk of harm,” Mr Crawford said.

The minor was not asked for ID despite spending around seven hours drinking at the pub and engaging with or being served by every staff member on duty, including being given free drinks by the bar manager.

Upon leaving the premises, CCTV footage shows him getting into a car with another male, and witnesses confirm he attended a house party briefly after this. While not provided with alcohol at the party, the young male was already heavily intoxicated, and high levels of ecstasy would later be found in his bloodstream.

He drove around Temora for a couple of hours and was killed in a single vehicle collision on the outskirts of a nearby town, Sebastapol, with police finding intoxication, speed and driver error were contributing factors in causing the crash.

“There’s no going back from such a tragedy caused by the systemic failings that put this young person in harm’s way,” Mr Crawford said.

“The messages are clear: check the ages of patrons, repeat if necessary, exclude minors from licensed areas, and do not sell alcohol to people showing signs of intoxication no matter how old they are.”

Last year the Authority took action against Wisemans Ferry Bowling Club for serving alcohol to an intoxicated patron who later died when his vehicle crashed into a power pole.

The 46-year-old man was denied service due to being intoxicated but refused to leave. As an incentive to go, he was sold a final takeaway beer which he drank at the club before the fatal accident.

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