An alcohol plan mooted by Auckland Council is a recipe for disaster and the rules need to be simpler and clearer, Auckland police say.
Under the proposal, stores would be allowed to sell alcohol only between 9am and 10pm.
City centre bars would have to close an hour earlier at 3am, and those in the suburbs at 1am.
Bar operators can apply for a two-hour extension if they meet certain critieria.
Inspector Gary Davey told Nine to Noon the difference in closing times will cause drinkers to shift, once one bar closes, to another.
He said the rules need to be simpler and clearer.
Hospitality New Zealand said the proposed bylaw is a backward step.
Auckland branch president Kevin Schwass said problems are caused by people drinking at home before they go out.
A council committee will decide on Tuesday whether the proposed plan will go to public consultation in June.