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Photocall on the 2/9/08 at Harcourt Square of confiscated alcohol

An Garda Siochana are displaying alcohol confiscated over the course of three weekends following the introduction of the new powers provided by the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008.


An Garda Siochana are displaying alcohol confiscated over the course of three weekends following the introduction of the new powers provided by the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008. These powers came into operation on the 30th July 2008 and enable Garda members seize alcohol form under 18 year olds or from adults in possession of alcohol in a public place.  

The total amount seized to date is in the region of 1400 cans/bottles of alcohol (of various brands).  These new powers will enhance the Gardaí capacity to respond to community concerns about on-street drinking, anti-social behaviour and public order issues arising in public parks and recreational areas.

An Garda Síochána is committed to ensuring that a minority of individuals intent on misbehaving do not have a negative impact on the quality of life in local areas and deprive communities of access to public amenities through intimidating behaviour. Today’s initiative is designed to send a clear message that Gardaí have the powers to confiscate alcohol and have no hesitation in using them.

An Garda Síochána, while playing our part, would also appeal to parents and adults who are minded to supply alcohol to young people that they have a responsibilities too.  Gardaí will continue to use these powers as we work with communities to ensure safer communities for everyone.  

Outlined below is a short synopsis of the main Sections of the legislation as it pertains to the seizure of alcohol - This Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 became operational on the 30 July 2008. The Intoxicating Liquor Act confers powers on An Garda Siochana to deal with this Anti Social behaviour. 

By Virtue of Section 19 of the Act Section 8 of The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act is amended with the inclusion of two new sub-sections 8A and 8B.  Section 8A Now empowers the seizure of alcohol from a person in a Public Place if the member  believes with reasonable cause that the person is or that person(s) accompanying him/her are acting in a manner which gives rise to an apprehension for the maintenance of Public Peace or causes or is likely to cause annoyance or nuisance to others or interference with others peaceful enjoyment of their property.  

The member may seek an explanation, if explanation is refused or inadequate the member may seek the surrender of the alcohol but must warn in ordinary language of consequences of refusal or failure and the member can seize the alcohol without warrant and with use of reasonable force.  Direct person(s) to desist.  Direct person(s) to leave area.  Demand Name and address. 

There is a power of arrest without warrant if a person refuses or fails to comply with any of the requests from a Member of An Garda Siochana.  Section 8B creates a power of entry to any place other that a private dwelling where member has reasonable grounds for believing that offences under this section are being committed.  For the purpose of this section it is not necessary that a person have an open bottle/can of alcohol, possession of alcohol in the circumstance as outlined above is sufficient.   

Section 14 Amends Section 37 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act by insertion of Section 37A and 37B  is similar to the above section with similar powers. The only difference is that the offence relates to persons who are under 18 years old. 37A - Where a Member with reasonable cause suspects that a person under 18 years old (or a person accompanying the juvenile) is in  possession of Alcohol and that it has been, is being, or is intended to be consumed by  persons under 18 years. The member may seek an explanation and may seize the alcohol, demand name and address, arrest without warrant.   

Where offences are being committed these will be dealt with in the appropriate manner and in addition to the Seizure and disposal of alcohol under these regulations, i.e. By  Juvenile Liaison Officer, prosecution, adult caution.


Garda Press Office 

1st Sept 2008

Ref: 1035/08