Drunk and disorderly behaviour will attract an immediate $234 fine thanks to new Brumby Government laws that kick into action from today.
Police and Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron said under the Government’s Summary Offences and Control of Weapons Acts Amendment Bill, which takes effect from today, drunks and those acting in a disorderly manner can now be fined to further deter bad behaviour.
“This action comes on the heels on last weekend’s successful police blitz on drunk and anti-social behaviour through Operation Unite,” Mr Cameron said.
“Victoria Police will continue operations throughout the summer months to target unruly behaviour and as of today they now have greater powers to deal with drunks and anti-social behaviour.
“Anti-social behaviour has no place on our streets and these new laws introduced by our Government will help keep Victorian communities safe so that people can enjoy public spaces.
“As well as being thrown in the cells, drunks will be sent home with a fine notice of $234 in their pockets.
“Their hangover will not only leave them a pain in the head, but also a pain in the pocket.”
Mr Cameron said the new fines are the next step in the Brumby Government’s approach to tackling an unacceptable culture of drunkenness.
“This new decisive action to tackle unruly drunks comes at a time when there are more police on the beat than ever before in Victoria, with plans by our Government to add another 470 police to the force to keep up the pressure and ensure the community remains safe,” he said.
The new police powers include:
- Giving police the power to direct people to move on from a certain area where there is a fear there will be a breach of the peace;
- A new offence of disorderly conduct;
- For the new offence of disorderly conduct and for existing offences of “drunk and disorderly” and “drunk”, there will be on-the-spot penalties with a fine of $234; and
- Random search powers for weapons in designated areas.
“All these new laws provide the police with pre-emptive tools designed to diffuse situations and deter unacceptable behaviour so Victorians can safely enjoy public places in peace,” Mr Cameron said.