Judge decries alcohol sale

Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Darryl Clarke has appealed to the Liquor Board to impose conditions on liquor outlets to ensure alcohol is not sold to intoxicated customers.

He made the appeal during the sentencing of Luma Pesefa, who pleaded guilty to one charge of manslaughter. The accused has been given a four years and four months custodial sentence in connection with the death of a 22-year-old man from Safotu. 

The police summary of facts and other material submitted in Court indicated that the deceased and the defendant were heavily intoxicated on the premises, presumably licensed to sell alcohol.

Justice Leiataualesa said despite being inebriated, the licensed outlet went ahead and sold them alcohol. 

“Despite their state of intoxication, it seems that both were nevertheless served alcohol. Licensed premises in Samoa must abide by requirements for the responsible service of alcohol to patrons. Where patrons are intoxicated, service must be refused,” he said, while pointing out that this continues to be the practice by liquor outlets.

“The licensed premises ignore these obligations and continue to serve alcohol to heavily intoxicated people. The sale of alcohol to intoxicated persons is a licensing issue.” 

He then appealed to the Liquor Board to impose conditions on licensed liquor outlets. 

These could include awareness of the obligations of the license holders, enforcing the placement of signage in prominent locations that promoted responsible service of alcohol on licensed premises, and the taking of appropriate action when there are breaches of the obligations.

“If the Liquor Board has not investigated a possible breach by the licensed premises in this matter, it may wish to do so given the alleged facts of this case,” added Justice Leiataualesa.

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