Yesterday the Commissioner of police said he believed that alcohol was a significant factor that is responsible for more than 50% of deaths in Belize. That’s a bold estimation but to show that he believed alcohol should be targeted by the police department, he told the media that he had sent a memorandum to police stations across the country, insisting that officers begin to crack down on offences related to the consumption and sale of alcohol.
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams: “There was a directive sent out to all Commanders countrywide on the lead for us to take more seriously the alcohol-related offenses, the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act clearly outlines a number of offenses for which we believe that as police officers we are not taking these laws more seriously so we are pointing out to the commanders that these laws do exist and having looked at the crimes being committed across the country we have come to the conclusion that many of these crimes are alcohol driven. If it is that we can control the consumption and sale of alcohol then it will be able to make us more successful in the fight against crime. Now it is not to say that we are telling anybody whether or not they should consume alcohol. We are simply saying that if you consume alcohol you must do it lawfully, meaning we are not going to tolerate or condone any public drinking, we are not going to tolerate or condone any assembly in front of any store or liquor establishment, we are not going to condone and tolerate minors buying alcohol, we are not going to condone minors selling alcohol, we are not going to condone or tolerate minors going into night clubs and we are not going to condone or tolerate any liquor licensed premise to be open beyond the time prescribed by law. So we are very serious about enforcing these laws with a view to make our citizens more safer either within the communities itself or on our highways. While we have done the analysis of the murders committed their alcohol is involved. We have not truly looked at the number of fatal traffic accidents on our highways that also involved alcohol and so if we were to combine both crime and traffic-related incidents you will see that alcohol is responsible for more than 50 % of deaths in Belize.”
If the police department fulfills the Compol’s directive, it means customers should no longer see drunk adults sitting in front of shops and stores. The Compol also said that a separate memorandum will be issued chairmen of liquor license boards across the country regarding the limitation of opening hour extensions for nightclubs to be set at 2 a.m. and public and special events as midnight.