The NT parliament is on the cusp of passing strict alcohol protection orders that authorities hope will reduce domestic violence.
Spare a thought for women and children who suffer at the hands of partners who abuse them while drunk, the Northern Territory's police commissioner says as the government moves to push through tough new alcohol legislation.
Alcohol protection orders will ban people who are charged with committing a serious offence while drunk from possessing or drinking alcohol or entering licensed premises for three to 12 months.
The orders can be issued to anyone charged with an offence that would attract a potential jail term of at least six months, and could be implemented before they're found guilty by the courts.
"There's a simple way of avoiding these restrictions ... don't drink and then bash your wife, don't drink and then punch someone at the pub, don't drink and then drive home," Chief Minister Adam Giles said in a statement.
Seventy per cent of domestic violence incidents in the Territory were the result of alcohol abuse, he said.
"This legislation, as far as police are concerned, is designed to deal with harmful effects of alcohol and target those who behave irresponsibly," Police Commissioner John McRoberts said.
"Far too often we see people mourning the morning after, because what started out as a pleasant night out for some has turned into an utter catastrophe for others."
It will be up to police to stop banned people entering licensed venues and buying alcohol, and licensees may be provided with photos and names of those banned so they don't unknowingly serve them.
The move is supported by the Australian Hotels Association.
"I don't think this puts the onus on staff," AHA NT senior vice-president Mick Burns said.
"It targets the problem, it doesn't target 99 out of 100 people that do the right thing and go out and enjoy a drink and don't do the sort of things we read about on the front page of the paper."
Critics of the legislation say it will criminalise alcoholism and disadvantage Aboriginal people, and say that it's more cumbersome than the previous Labor government's Banned Drinkers Register, which created a centralised system for bottle shops and licensed premises to scan patron IDs and refuse service to those banned.