As online alcohol sales and home delivery rates rise in response to COVID-19 social isolation measures, the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council is seeking to avoid any unintended health consequences for Tasmania.
Chief executive Alison Lai said that in response to COVID-19 they had prepared a resource specifically to assist small businesses and individuals moving to online alcohol sales and home deliveries.
“We are aware that there has been an increase in alcohol sales across the country, and Tasmania will be no different,” Mrs Lai said.
“Until recently, online alcohol sales and deliveries were not that common in Tasmania, particularly deliveries within express time-frames of two hours or less.
“As more Tasmanian business owners move to online sales and deliveries, we obviously want to ensure that everyone from the café owners to the taxi drivers understand their role in the responsible service of alcohol.
“Alcohol continues to be the number one presenting drug of concern in Tasmania, and we need to be vigilant to ensure that we don’t inadvertently put additional pressure on our health system at a time when we can least afford it.
“There are some simple steps retailers and deliverers can take to reduce the harm.”
- Check customers are aged 18 years and over when taking alcohol orders online. This can be done through technology such as Australia Post’s Digital ID, and ensuring the customer agrees to present ID on delivery.
- Limit alcohol quantities to capped amounts per customer per day. Greater alcohol availability causes greater harm to alcohol users and those around them. Know and observe the permitted alcohol limits in your licence or permit conditions or the industry code limits.
- Same-day rapid delivery under 2 hours can lead to higher alcohol consumption and harm. Delivering alcohol-only orders the next day after ordering reduces the impact of extended drinking sessions.
- Don’t deliver to intoxicated customers. Everyone, even those not trained in Responsible Service of Alcohol can tell the common signs of intoxication. These include slurred speech, swaying and bumping into things, inability to walk, rowdiness, anger, aggression or even violence.
- If the customer looks under 25 years of age, ask them to show identification proving they are aged 18 years or over. It’s important to maintain social distancing of 1.5m and not handle the customer’s ID.
- Deliver alcohol directly to the person who placed the order, rather than leave it unattended. After verifying the customer is aged 18 years or over and not intoxicated, deliveries can be placed on the ground to maintain a distance of 1.5m.
Mrs Lai said that any organisation selling or delivering alcohol online or over the phone should get themselves up to speed on their legal obligations.
“Any organisation or individual moving into online alcohol sales and deliveries need to make sure that they understand their legal responsibilities,” she said.
“There are penalties for those not adhering to the legislation that requires checking proof of age, and not delivering to people under 18 years of age.”
Media Contact: Alison Lai, CEO – 0450 517 017