Police highlight the many forms of bootlegging

By Glenn Hicks
October 4, 2018 - 2:25pm

RCMP in the North are reminding the public that anyone buying liquor for resale or taking orders for resale without a permit is bootlegging and will be prosecuted.

Ahead of the holiday weekend the Buffalo Narrows detachment issued their reminder that bootlegging covers a wide spectrum of illegal liquor activity and the fines are hefty.

“That first offence generally speaking is a $500 fine,” Staff Sgt. Joanne Derworiz told paNOW. ”That’s a stiff penalty for what amounts to a $20 bottle of liquor perhaps. ”The fine can be as high as $2,000 and can also result in two months of jail time even for a first offence. Liquor can only be purchased from a properly licenced facility for a person’s own personal consumption. It cannot then be given or re-sold to anyone."

Derworiz added it’s not just the penalties they’re trying to highlight but the impact the various types of illegal activity has on the community.

“We have people with addiction that perhaps can’t purchase liquor because of [court] conditions, or are too young, or are banned from establishments, and others who are just reselling to make money and taking advantage of citizens,” she said.

The fact it’s a holiday weekend helped prompt the reminder from police and Derworiz said at these times and also at end-of-month the problem can become even more serious regarding the impact with crime and policing in all communities.

“The problems that are associated with that drinking and addiction for some people and what should be a happy family time can end up not being a happy time,” she said.

Derworiz is also keen to point out that while the problem can be pronounced in isolated communities it is too simplistic to say it’s something that mainly affects dry communities only. There are both dry and non-dry commuinities in the Buffalo Narrows area. 

“I used to live in Prince Albert and I’ve seen that happen when I’ve been off-duty in the liquor store parking lot, where some young person gives another person $20 and asks them to buy for them, then there’s an exchange of liquor outside. That's against the law,” he said.


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