A number of barbershops across the country have been paid a visit by police, and warned that it is illegal to give their customers alcohol because they do not have a liquor licence.
A major men’s barber chain was approached in Dunedin and has been told to stop offering customers a beer when they sit in the chair.
Dunedin’s alcohol harm prevention officer said they first became aware of the practice in the middle of last month – while no doubt scratching their arse and looking for something to fill their time in order to justify their jobs worth – found out that Barkers Groom Room in George St was offering drinks to customers – something everyone and their dog already knew about. Great detective work there, Gumshoe.
Other businesses had also been offering drinks to customers, including a nail salon, which offered a glass of wine to customers as part of a Christmas special last year, the alcohol harm prevention officer said – before then closing down a Christmas Grotto and telling kids that Father Christmas wasn’t real.
A central Auckland hair salon owner, said it offered a complimentary glass of wine during the evening as a little bit of extra service.
“I think it’s just that clients enjoy it, it’s their time out. They come in from working all day and they get to sit down and they really enjoy the social aspect and just having their hair done with a glass of wine to relax with.
“I wouldn’t have seen it as an issue at all. [Hairdressers] have been serving wine for years and years and years as part of an added complimentary service.”
A central Auckland barber, said that while he sometimes offered a drink to customers in the past he had now moved his beer fridge after other barbers told him the police had been knocking on doors, instead of dealing with real crimes and doing something worthy of the tax dollars that paid them.
“There’s quiet outrage, it’s just a shame, a bloody shame.
“There must be a lot of other places that supply the occasional beer particularly in barbering and in hairdressing who will have to have a think about how to do that.”
Another barber had been told by other shops about the recent police visits, but planned to continue offering a tipple with its trims until it received a warning itself, before grinning, reaching for the stereo, and playing NWA’s – “Fu*k Tha Police”.
Police prevention (of fun for hard working adults) manager Inspector Paula Holt said in a statement that police were providing “guidance” to ensure shops remained within the law.
“It is an offence to promote or advertise alcohol that is free of charge. Giving away free alcohol with a haircut is not a practice that police condone, as there are host responsibility issues beyond the scope of a hairdresser that may be overlooked.”
“Police have no intention of pursuing this matter any further than providing guidance to business owners at this stage.” But if businesses ignored calls from police to stop offering alcohol to customers, they faced punishments of up to three months in prison and a $40,000 fine – which is totally reasonable and has been well thought through, by people that wear beige pants and only have sex on special occasions, with the lights off.