The rest of the festival period will remain safe from the lockout laws, but mandatory sentencing for one-punch fatal attacks came into effect across NSW last weekend.
Last week, it was initially announced the lockout laws would come into effect in April – but Premier Barry O’Farrell today set the date from February 24.
This means that most venues in Sydney’s CBD – including LGBTI venues on Oxford St – have to abide by 1.30am lockouts and a rule preventing the sale of alcohol after 3am. Bottle shops across NSW must also close by 10pm each night.
While the official Mardi Gras Party is excluded from the lockout laws because its location of Moore Park is outside the legislation’s geographical boundaries, social media users have commented that bars and clubs along Oxford St could be affected as tourists flock to Sydney in the lead-up to the Parade night.
Legislation to deal with alcohol- fuelled violence was passed following heavy media attention on highly publicised one-punch attacks across Sydney’s entertainment night spots.
The new laws also see an eight-year minimum mandatory sentence for any person convicted of an alcohol or drug-fuelled assault resulting in death while persons accused of assaults will no longer be able to use voluntary intoxication as a mitigating factor during court hearings.
Police also have powers to immediately ban “troublemakers” from Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross while on-the-spot fines for disorderly behaviour has increased from $200 to $1100.
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