Supplying alcohol to under 18s

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

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

What are you really buying them?

In 2019 the Queensland Government launched the 'What are you really buying them?' campaign, which aims to encourage parents, step-parents, guardians and friends of under 18s to think before supplying them with alcohol.

This campaign will appear online, in licensed venues and take-away liquor outlets across Queensland.

Research has shown that up to 1 in 5 under 18s are victims of alcohol-related incidents, including sexual assault, physical risk from risky behaviour and physical violence. They could also be fined for possessing alcohol.

By supplying alcohol to under 18s a minor could fall victim to one of these scenarios. The campaign also invites minors to view risky behaviours as a deterrent to consuming alcohol.

Banner saying:  What are you really buying them?  Think before supplying the drink. Four alcohol containers, each with a separate message including Mister Risky; She said no; Pay up $400; and One Punch.

Penalties for irresponsibly supplying alcohol to a person under 18 at a private place

You could face court and be fined up to $10,676 for supplying alcohol to a person under 18 years old while at a private place, if you are not their responsible adult and providing responsible supervision.

Definition of a ‘responsible adult’

A 'responsible adult' is a parent, step-parent or guardian, or an adult who has parental rights and responsibilities for the person under 18 years of age.

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.

For more information about supplying alcohol to under 18s contact the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation.