In the R.M. Court yesterday it was pointed out by the Magistrate, in ■‘■he course of the hearing of a case wherein a man named Hodgson was sued by a publican for a sum of L 4.0, that the police had no power under the existing Licensing Act to officially warn publicans against supplying drink to confirmed drunkards. Under the old Canterbury ordinance giving of this warning was imperative on the police, and any disregard of it by the publican would count against him in any case in which the fact might have been adduced. But the Act now in force makes no such provision, and when the police give such warning they are only exercising a bit of praiseworthy philanthropy, for so far as law is concerned it is only blank cartridge. The hotel-keeper may observe it, or he may not, as seems to him fit, and as his sense of humanity may direct. The Bill now before Parliament, however, and which there is every probability will become law, will alter all this and restore to the police warning the meaning that it had under the Canterbury Ordinance. It also adds a heavy shot to the gun, in the shape of penalties, and provides for the warning being issued under the hands of two Justices. The following are the clauses of the new Bill dealing with the subject;— <l IGI. When it shall be made to appear in open Court that any person, by excessive drinking of liquor, misspends, wastes, or lessens his or her estate, or greatly injures his or her health, or endangers or interrupts the peace and happiness of his or her family, the Justices presiding in such Court shall, by writing under the hands of any two such Justices, forbid any licensed person to sell to him or her any liquor for the space of one year, and such Justices, or any other two Justices, may at the same or any other time, in like manner, forbid the selling of any such liquor to the said drunkard by any such licensed persons of any other city, town, or district to which the drunkard shall or may be likely to resort for the same.
“IG2. The said Justices, or any two of them, shall, in like manner, from year to year, renew any such prohibition as aforesaid as to all such persons as have not, in their opinion, reformed within the year ; and if any licensed person shall, during any such prohibition, after service of a copy thereof upon him or her, or with a knowledge thereof in any other manner acquired, sell to any such prohibited person any liquor, he or she shall forfeit, upon conviction, for every such offence, a sum not exceeding ten pounds. “ IG3. Whenever Justices shall, in execution of the foregoing provisions, have prohibited the sale of liquor to any such drunkard, if any other person shall, with a knowledge of such prohibition, give, sell, purchase, or procure for or on behalf of such prohibited person, or for his or her use, any such liquor, he or she shall forfeit, upon conviction, for every such offence, a sum not exceeding five pounds.”
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