Booze laws not good enough

A RAFT of new laws aimed at cracking down on drunken violence has drawn staunch criticism from Griffith residents. 

Premier Barry O'Farrell's sweeping changes announced on Tuesday include an eight-year minimum sentence for alcohol or drug-related assaults causing death and a 10pm curfew on bottle shops. 

A good friend of Andrew Farrugia - the 17-year-old Griffith boy who was fatally king-hit in 2007 - has criticised the laws for not going far enough. 

"It's pretty crap, it should be a minimum of 20 years because seeing what I saw the night Andrew died was nothing but a coward act," Jason Waring-Bryant said. 

"There's no doubt it's a really a cowardly act to punch someone from behind, so that's why there should be huge penalties. 

"A minimum of eight years doesn't compare with taking away 60 years of someone's life." 

Mr Waring-Bryant thought the new mandatory minimum sentence was too lenient but conceded it was a step in the right direction. 

"When king hits get brought up in the news, you can't help but think about Andrew a fair bit at night, but the thing is you just can't do anything about it," he said. 

"These laws should have been made 30 years ago but at least they're doing something about it, although they don't go far enough." 

Billabong Bottleshop manager Steve Foschi said the curfew on bottle shops would create problems for his business without addressing the issue of violence. 

He said it was naive of the government to assume people would go without alcohol because of an inconvenience. 

"We're going to be cramming in sales before 10pm for people that would have otherwise come between 10pm and 12am and it just puts an extra workload on the business," Mr Foschi said. 

"Closing the bottle shops two hours earlier is not going to stop alcohol-related violence. 

"If you or I want to buy alcohol and we know a place is going to shut at 10pm, we'll just get there earlier. 

"Education is more important than restricting trading hours on bottle shops."

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