Crackdown on young drinkers

YAMBA licensed premises are launching an all-out assault in the lead-up to Christmas on underage youth trying access pubs and clubs to get drunk.

Yamba Golf and Country Club assistant manager Chris Durrington said 15- and 16-year-olds had told him they regularly go to licensed premises in Yamba to drink, with their illegal exploits appearing on Facebook.

Mr Durrington said the youths were regularly using false identification to enter the licensed premises.

He said they claimed to gain access by using a friend's identification, who is of legal age but doesn't look like them, to get past security.

"The security are looking at the IDs and it looks nothing like them and they are letting them in," he said.

"I know both the people; the one who owns the ID and the one who is using the ID and one is 16 and one is 18."

Pacific Hotel manager Thomas McIntosh said underage drinkers had little chance of breaching the club's three-strong security team who were vigilant in checking identification.

"We had around six people who were prevented from entering the hotel over the weekend who were trying to use friends' ID to get in," he said.

Yamba Shores Tavern owner Matt Muir said his premises did not tolerate underage drinking.

"We have security on every entrance to the tavern who vigilantly check IDs," he said.

Mr Muir said his staff had weekly meetings to discuss issues at the tavern.

He said tavern management met with the venue's security company this week.

"We said your first port of call is at the entry to make sure that anyone entering our venue is 18 years of age plus and we will be making sure those requests by us are enforced," he said.

Yamba Bowling Club CEO Phil Broughton said his staff and security were told to vigilantly check identification for anyone who appeared to be under 25 years old.

"Everyone who enters the club must have legally acceptable forms of ID," he said.

"Anyone who looks to be under the age of 25 will come under closer scrutiny than anyone else."

Yamba YHA backpackers beach resort manager Shane Henwood said they had strict security checking of identification.

"We caught two people a while back who tried to use their brother's and sister's IDs to get in, but other than that we have had no trouble."

Mr Henwood said the fake IDs that are around these days look exactly like a standard licence and make it very hard on security staff and licensed premises.

He said there needed to be stricter fines on underage drinkers.

"All our staff know that if they are caught serving underage drinkers it is cause for instant dismissal."



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