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Strong public support for restrictions on sale and public consumption of liquor

SINGAPORE - Following two public consultations on restricting the public consumption of liquor and shortening the sale hours of liquor at retail outlets, the Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) and government feedback arm REACH has found that there is strong public support for measures to reduce threats to public safety and order, and mitigate disamenities linked to the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places.

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SINGAPORE - Following two public consultations on restricting the public consumption of liquor and shortening the sale hours of liquor at retail outlets, the Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) and government feedback arm REACH has found that there is strong public support for measures to reduce threats to public safety and order, and mitigate disamenities linked to the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places.

In a press release today (Nov 7), the MHA said a total of 395 pieces of written feedback were received and 624 members of the public participated in an electronic poll during the public consultations, held between last October and this August.

During this period, MHA also conducted focus group discussions with almost 200 stakeholders, including grassroots leaders, Members of Parliament, residents and businesses.

Most respondents strongly support restricting public consumption of liquor, especially in public places near residential areas after certain hours. In fact, 83 per cent of the respondents who provided written feedback on this during the first phase of the consultation were supportive.

In the second phase of the consultation, 88 per cent of the respondents who gave written feedback either supported a partial ban, on time and place, or a wider ban, where alcohol consumption would be off limits in all public places at all times. 88 per cent of the electronic poll respondents supported implementing the restrictions at congregation areas.

In terms of restricting the timing on public drinking, most focus group discussion participants felt that an island-wide ban on public consumption was too extreme and restrictive. Instead, a partial ban from perhaps, 10pm onwards, would be more reasonable. Some also suggested imposing additional restrictions in areas with higher crime rates and incidence of disorderliness.

As for shortening retail hours, about three in four respondents who had given written feedback in the first phase of the public consultation were supportive. On the whole, respondents preferred retail hours within residential areas to end earlier, as compared to entertainment districts. Respondents in the second phase felt the same.

Most of the focus group participants also supported the idea of stopping liquor sales between 10pm and 12am. They felt that this would deter impulse buys, especially for those who congregate to drink, but would not affect the majority who were responsible drinkers.

The full set of liquor control measures will be announced in the first quarter next year.

 

Source: MHA

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