86 shots of soju lands Korean bar its first strike
After downing 86 glasses of the potent Korean liquor soju in a six-hour birthday binge, it was a night the five friends probably can't remember.
But for Chris Chang, licensee of the Haru Fusion Soju Lounge, it will be difficult to forget. He is facing a first "strike" from the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority under its three strikes disciplinary scheme for irresponsible service of alcohol.
One of the female revellers became so drunk she was carried from the venue and was later found unconscious near a pool of vomit in the early hours of the morning.
Another drinker passed out in his own vomit in the middle of the street and had to be rescued by roadworkers who moved him on to the footpath.
Footage from security cameras inside the restaurant shows the friends being served bottles of soju, a popular South Korea spirit that has an alcohol content of up to 50 per cent, which is poured into shot glasses and skolled.
As the night progresses, one of the diners trips over a chair after falling backwards while trying to get up.
The footage also shows a female staff member walking past one of the men who appears to be asleep with his head on the table.
At the end of the night, two men are seen carrying a woman who appears to be unconscious out of the bar.
Not far away, they also discovered an unconscious male covered in vomit, who had collapsed on the road before being moved on to the footpath by workers.
Apart from the strike, the ILGA said further action is possible against the lounge, in Castlereagh St in the city. Mr Chang has until September 22 to make a submission why he should not be punished.
ILGA chairman Philip Crawford said it was lucky no one had died following the drinking session and it would be difficult to find a more serious case of a venue showing blatant disregard for responsible service of alcohol obligations.
"It is almost beyond belief that the venue could serve such a large amount of alcohol to a group of five patrons," Mr Crawford said.
"The fact one of the patrons was passed out on the road highlights the risk of serious injury or death … The authority will consider imposing a range of special conditions on the venue's liquor licence, as well as winding back the venue's trading hours."
Another Korean bar was fined last year when two unconscious women were left on the street after being served 16 shots in 40 minutes.
Licensees with strikes face a range of remedial action, with those who incur three strikes facing licence suspension or removal from the industry.