By James Atkinson

Byron Bay Local Court has removed a hotel from New South Wales' strikes register for problem venues, ruling against a police argument that the service of shots and 'bombs' was inherently irresponsible. 

The court heard on Wednesday that popular Byron Bay venue Woody's Surf Shack was issued a ticket for 'permit intoxication' after serving a patron a single 'Jagerbomb'.

The female patron was subsequently removed by security, which was observed by undercover Police. They nonetheless issued Woody's with the infringement on the basis of an OLGR guideline stating that bombs and shots were classified as an 'unacceptable risk'. 

Woody's presented a comprehensive and active RSA management plan and argued that it did not serve such drinks in high risk periods, never discounted or promoted them, and had never been notified of any prohibition of their sale by the OLGR.  

Magistrate Linden accepted that the venue had a comprehensive plan and had taken "all reasonable steps to prevent intoxication". 

Linden did not accept the Police argument and dismissed the case. 

Tony Hatzis of Hospitality specialist law firm, Hatzis Cusack, told TheShout that Woody's automatically received the strike by initially paying the infringement, but this ruling establishes that their practices were within the OLGR guidelines. 

"Police have taken a new line to attack the defence, that bombs and shots are inherently irresponsible.

"The ruling is significant because it closes an avenue of attack Police might have otherwise used elsewhere." 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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