Date PostedDecember 14, 2013

Surgeons Support Lockout

Reconstructive surgeons are the latest to lend their support to new late night code of practice for pubs and clubs in Adelaide.

Reconstructive surgeon Dr YugeshCaplash supports the new code because he is confronted with the ugly face of late night alcohol fuelled violence every weekend, literally.

Alcohol fuelled violence has gotten out of hand especially around the early hours of the morning which is why the doctor says he believes the new code which includes a 3am lockout will help combat excessive alcohol fuelled violence.

An article on discussed some of the alcohol-fuelled cases that the doctor has to deal with, usually as a result of a brawl or fight breaking out. The surgeon has to spend hours reconstructing the faces of people injured in these brawls. It is hoped the new code will help prevent these violent incidents from taking place in the future or at least minimise the number of cases.

Although the code was met with some concern from members of the alcohol industry and licensees, medical professionals have welcomed the new code. Part of the code includes a lockout preventing patrons from entering licenced venues after 3am as well as a ban on shots or drinks with more than 30ml of alcohol. The code also includes the banning of free drinks and discounted alcohol after 4am. Licenced venues will now have to stop serving drinks in glass after a certain time, plastic drinkware only will be permitted from 4am onwards.

The article on goes on to explain:

295661-de7b3e16-2984-11e3-a7cf-0f52bd2b4951Dr Caplash, who has more than two decades’ experience in facial fracture surgery, directs the plastic and reconstructive surgery department at the RAH.

He is part of a team of doctors which sees up to 500 facial fracture cases a year — about half of which are injuries to people who are drunk, assaulted by a drunk or hurt at a venue where alcohol is present.

He agreed changes to licensing conditions late at night were needed.

“I think everyone in our speciality actually supports that,” he said.

The scans Dr Caplash showed to The Advertiser reveal a fractured eye socket and a jaw broken in two places.

“This kind of assault you will get in the early hours of the morning … blood alcohol level of 0.18, multiple kicks to the head and that’s what you find,” he said.

“First of all we had to let him settle down, get his alcohol level down (and the) swelling to settle.

“That usually takes up to three or four days.

“After that he has surgery which can be, in this case, about four to five hours of operating.”


According to Dr Caplash those that are most commonly admitted to hospital due to injuries caused by alcohol fuelled brawls are males, up to the age of 40. These incidents normally start pouring into the hospital on Thursday evenings and end on Monday mornings.

All venues that operate after 3am need to adhere to the new code, except for the Adelaide Casino which is exempt from the 3am lockout.

According to the new code, licenced venues which facilitate more than 200 people will have to operate CCTV cameras while they are open and will have to retain the recordings for at least 28 days.

Alcohol fuelled violence spilling onto the streets is also being tackled, with the code prohibiting venue’s patrons from drinking on the streets or footpaths around the venues from 2am.


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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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