Alcohol-free zones are established under Sections 644-644C of the Local Government Act and affect streets, roads and footpaths identified as problem areas within the Byron Shire.
The main aim of the Local Government Act 1993 legislation is to deter the consumption of alcoholic substances in public places other than parks and reserves whilst ensuring that the right of members of the public to carry alcoholic substances.
The establishment of alcohol-free zones in Byron Shire is an important measure used to curtail irresponsible behaviour by individuals on the streets throughout the year. Offences under the Local Government Amendment (Alcohol-free zones) Act 1995 can result in warnings, the confiscation of unsealed alcoholic beverages and a fixed penalty.
Alcohol-free zones do not operate in parks and reserves. The parks and reserves are regulated separately by the Local Government Act 1993 Section 632 Notices which includes prohibiting the taking in or consumption of alcohol and is supported by a severe fixed penalty for offenders.
The council may, at the request of any person or body or of its own motion, suspend the operation of an alcohol-free zone and during the period of suspension. During this suspension, the zone does not operate as an alcohol-free zone. The suspension of the alcohol-free zone for approved footway restaurants is in place, whilst the activities are taking place.