Have Perth liquor laws finally gone too far? This is the question that is echoing down the halls of human rights institutions throughout Australia
Radical reforms are being argued in Parliament and if passed patrons may be required to give a sample of their DNA (hair, blood or saliva) at the door and sign a waiver that surrenders their right to remain silent in the event of a police investigation. The reforms are being dubbed "Pay to Play Laws".
The reforms have divided public opinion. On the one hand, they may reduce alcohol related violence, on the other hand, they are completely unethical and attack a citizens basic rights.
This is how it will work: if a venue is declared a 'Problem Venue' by the authorities, they will be forced to install DNA collecting units at all entrances of their venue. Patrons will be required to give a sample of their hair, saliva or blood, that will be kept in a database. Police will have full access to his database in the event a crime has or is suspected to have occurred.
If a patron's DNA is connected to a crime, they will be compelled to provide a statement to police or risk being barred from all licensed venues in Western Australia for up to 5 years. To add insult to injury the police are permitted to retain the patrons DNA throughout the period of their ban in the event of non compliance.
Human rights activist, Robin St Croix, told the BTT:
"These laws are absolutely outrageous. It represents a further attempt for the WA Government to convince the public that liquor related harm is SO bad, that we need to extend the Government and police's power to extraordinary levels. I urge you all to resist the reforms".Northbridge regular, Deano, told the BTT:
"If they want my DNA they can scrape the crusty ejaculate off my jeans mate. Nanny-state horsefeed mate".As we reflect on the image of Deano's soiled denim, we cant help to think that that if we put WA's liquor laws through the wash, would they come out clean?