CADA Bermuda
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New Laws CADA Is Proposing for Bermuda

Apr 12, 2011

CADA would like to highlight the legislative initiatives successfully lobbied to date and to detail further legislative initiatives we would like to see adopted in Bermuda.

Let’s look at the successes first. In 2007, CADA was tasked by the Department for National Drug Control to form a Legislation Committee to review the Liquor License Act 1974 and provide a report of recommendations to update the Act. CADA invited a number of organizations to be represented on the committee. They included: insurance companies, the faith community, Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, various entertainment organizations, the hospitality industry and The Road Safety Council.

From January to June 2008 this committee met on an intensive basis and in July 2008 the Final Report was complete. In part, from that Final Report the most recent amendments to the Liquor License Act were made via the Liquor License Amendment Act of 2010. Some of these amendments include: 

• Making TIPS certification for all managers, supervisors and persons in charge of bars at on-premise licensed premises mandatory as of the date of June 1, 2011. TIPS is a one day certification program on the responsible selling and serving of alcohol in licensed establishments.

• Giving the Bermuda Police Service the power to close down licensed premises for up to 24 hours in the event of serious disorder or a threat to public safety.

• Making it a requirement that after gaining membership in a members club, a new member must wait 48 hours before he/she can legally use the clubs facilities.

CADA is extremely pleased with the progress made to date and looks forward to lobbying for these additional legislative initiatives which also stem from the 2008 Final Report:

The creation of an Alcohol Bureau of Control (ABC) in Bermuda.

At present in Bermuda and for the last many years the alcohol industry, a hundred million dollar a year industry which deals with a mood altering substance, is largely un-policed. As a result, underage drinking and over-serving of alcohol are a regular occurrence in some licensed establishments in Bermuda. The establishment of an ABC in Bermuda will go a long way to reducing and perhaps even eliminating underage drinking and the over-serving of alcohol.

The committee believes that by having an ABC the culture in Bermuda’s licensed establishments will be significantly changed. A culture of responsible alcohol use will be created. Anticipated changes will occur and include:

·       a reduction in rowdy behavior, violent altercations and other community problems that often result from the illegal or irresponsible sale and consumption of alcohol.

·       Alcohol over-serving would be greatly reduced.

·       Parents would be happier, knowing that if their underage child goes out and tries to purchase and drink alcohol that barriers are in place to prevent this.

·       Troublesome licensed establishments would be weeded out and shut down.

For the complete details of what the ABC would look like and how it would operate scroll down to the very bottom of this page and view the full Position Paper.

Another legislative initative CADA plans to lobby for, which also stems from the 2008 Final Report is:

Roadside sobriety checkpoints.

The purpose of Roadside Sobriety Checkpoints is to create awareness amongst the driving public that if they drink then drive, their apprehension is inevitable. Roadside Sobriety Checkpoints create a deterrent against drinking and driving and reduce the number of alcohol related road deaths and collisions.

Currently in Bermuda there are no police powers in law, for demanding and taking breath samples on the roads for the purposes of determining the presence of alcohol in the blood of motorists operating or controlling vehicles. The committee looked at best Roadside Sobriety Checkpoint practices around the world and found that countries such as Ireland, Australia and all European Union countries with the exception of the UK, have had strong successes.

In Ireland the number of crashes fell by 19% and their current rate of road fatalities is below the OECD average at 6.7 per 100,000. A similar trend was seen in Australia. Since 1976, the country has witnessed a dramatic reduction in drivers killed and their current rate of road fatalities is also below the OECD average at 7.9 per 100,000.

These Roadside Sobriety Checkpoints operate as follows:

·       stopping every nth vehicle and doing a roadside breath test of that driver;

·       if the roadside breath test shows at or above a certain level of alcohol, the person is then transported to the Police Station or to the Police Command Vehicle for the fully calibrated alcohol breathalyzer machine test;

·       if the fully calibrated machine shows the person’s alcohol level is above the legal limit for driving the person is arrested on impaired driving.

What these jurisdictions have found is that the enforcement campaign is extremely effective under the following conditions. It must be:

·       highly visible

·       conducted as often as possible

·       rigorously enforced so as to ensure credibility and

·       well publicized

CADA therefore plans to lobby for these to be adopted and drawn into law in Bermuda.

For complete details of what these roadside sobriety checkpoints would look like and how it is proposed they would operate scroll down to the very bottom of this page and view the full Position Paper. 

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Did You Know?

A licensee can refuse to admit someone into their establishment if that person is drunk or behaving in a disorderly manner View all facts