The combined team of Lusaka City Council (LCC) Public Health Inspectors, Council Police and State Police over the weekend closed 12 bars and apprehended 10 suspected underage age patrons.
This was done during an operation conducted in Emmasdale (Devil Street) and Garden Compounds.
The operation meant to check on compliance with laws and and regulations relating to liquor trade, started at 22:00 Hours on Friday last week and ended at 02:30 hours on Saturday.
The affected bars were found operating outside stipulated hours contrary to the Liquor Licensing (Permitted Hours) Regulations of 2012.
The law stipulates that a bars and bottle stores (retail liquor) must open at 10:00 Hours and close at 22:00 Hours.
Night clubs and social clubs must open at 10:00 hours and close at 24:00 Hours while wholesale liquor must open at 08:00 Hours and close at 18:00 Hours.
The only exempted establishments are hotels, lodges, Guest houses, Restaurants, boarding houses, camps and camp sites which can sell liquor at any time to clients who are lodging with them and people that are buying food with regards to restaurants.
LCC Spokesman George Sichimba said sadly, most establishments trading in liquor are not operating within the law hence the operations to check on compliance levels.
“Apart from operating outside stipulated hours three bars were also found admitting underage patrons while two bars were found trading without liquor licenses contrary to the Liquor Licensing Act No. 20 of 2011. And of the 10 apprehended suspected underage patrons, four were girls and six were boys,” Mr Sichimba said.
He said the young guzzlers were taken to Emmasdale Police Station and Garden Chilulu Police Post for screening and further action.
“LCC wishes to warn people operating liquor establishments to always abide by the law in their operations. The council will not relent in it’s quest to bring sanity in the city and prevent young people from alcohol abuse,” he said.