Drinkers pour in for cheap booze
CHEAP booze has proved a drop too good to resist for Toowoomba partygoers, but health professionals are warning the offerings may be spiked with their share of pitfalls.
At least three Toowoomba CBD venues have introduced nights where basic spirits and "shots" are sold at drastically reduced prices.
The Gladstone Hotel in Ruthven St hosts an "industry party" on Tuesday nights where basic spirits sell for just $2 for a two-hour period from 8pm.
Venue manager Casey Gray said the event, which included reduced-price Mexican-themed meals, was a major drawcard.
But he said the focus of the industry party was not on promoting or facilitating excess alcohol consumption.
"We have a strict policy on the number of drinks per person, all our staff are RAS (Responsible Alcohol Service) trained and we have security on providing a watchful eye.
"It's not an all day thing, it's just a bit of fun; Toowoomba is missing a bit of fun."
The Cube Hotel serves up $2 shots on Thursday nights and manager Brett Hoefstee said patrons had voted with their feet.
"The nights are very popular," he said.
But Mr Hoefstee said strict licensing requirements ensured that the night - like any night at The Cube - was heavily regulated.
"We've been beaten over the head by the liquor act for a long time now and it's just getting tougher," he said.
"All the legislation and training we put in place keeps patrons safe and alcohol-fuelled violence down."
Tatts Hotel cuts its prices on Friday nights to offer basic sprits for just $3 from 9-11pm.
Hotel owner John Clarkson said while popular, the night presented its own challenges, particularly enforcing a one-drink per person limit.
"It's a constant vigil to make sure it's not being abused in any way, shape or form."
Teen Challenge Queensland executive director Joanne Hobbs said she was concerned bargain drinks were contributing to Australia's growing binge drinking problem.
She said when a young people binge drink, it affected their ability to make rationale decisions.
"We have a responsibility to our young people to protect them instead of offering them alcohol at incredibly reduced prices," she said.
"This will only contribute to the already escalating problem of binge drinking that we face.
"We all have a social responsibility to protect our young people.
"I feel it's time that society became a part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem. One wrong decision for a youth can drastically affect their life forever.