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Supplying alcohol to minors

Under the Liquor Act 1992 it is illegal to supply a minor (anyone under 18 years old) with alcohol at a private place (such as the family home) if:

  • you are not the ‘responsible adult’ and
  • you are not providing ‘responsible supervision’ of their consumption.

Definition of a ‘responsible adult’

 A 'responsible adult' is generally a parent, step-parent or guardian of someone under the age of 18.

Responsibility cannot be transferred to any other adult (such as a sibling, friend or other adult) who is not a ‘responsible adult’ for the person under 18.

Definition of ‘responsible supervision’

 Under the law, a number of factors are considered in deciding whether alcohol is being supplied under ‘responsible supervision’. These include:

  • the age of the under-age person
  • whether the adult is unduly intoxicated
  • if the under-age person is unduly intoxicated
  • whether the under-age person is eating food while drinking alcohol
  • if the adult is responsibly supervising the under-age person’s alcohol intake
  • the amount of alcohol being supplied and the period of time it is supplied over.

Definition of ‘unduly intoxicated'

A person may be taken to be 'unduly intoxicated' if:

  • the person's speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably affected and
  • there are reasonable grounds for believing the affected speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is the result of the consumption of liquor, drugs or another intoxicating substance.

Penalties for irresponsibly supplying a minor with alcohol at a private place

 You could face court and be fined up to $10,092 for supplying a minor with alcohol at a private place if you are not their responsible adult and providing responsible supervision.

Further information

 For more information about supplying alcohol to minors contact the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
30 June 2017
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