Liquor and Gaming NSW > Liquor > Underage drinking

​Schoolies

Celebrating the end of HSC exams and Year 12 is known as Schoolies Week. It can be a challenging time for both parents and licensed venues as drinking alcohol is often part of the celebrations.

Be prepared by reading our information for both parents and licensees to ensure a safe Schoolies Week.

    Extra policing and compliance checks

    Liquor & Gaming NSW and NSW Police conduct additional compliance checks of licensed venues during this time.

    The key issues closely monitored by police and liquor inspectors are:

    • underage drinking
    • illegal entry by minors into licensed venues
    • illegal supply of alcohol to minors
    • use of fake identification
    • service of alcohol to intoxicated people
    • entry of intoxicated people into licensed venues.

    Penalties of up to $11,000 can apply for these offences. You can read the table of Underage drinking offences for more detail.

    You can also read more about Underage drinking laws.

    How venues can deal with Schoolies

    Licensees can help minimise harm and underage drinking by:

    • checking IDs properly and giving a stamp or wristband once ID is checked
    • use blacklight testing devices to check for fake or altered ID
    • add extra security personal for ID checking
    • employ responsible service of alcohol marshals
    • ensure liquor promotions aren't attractive to underage drinkers
    • offer discount food and soft drinks
    • promote the consumption of water
    • ensure staff are provided additional training on the responsible service of alcohol.

    How parents can prepare for Schoolies

    If you've allowed your son or daughter to celebrate during Schoolies, have a chat with them about personal safety, alcohol limits and the law.

    Underage drinking laws

    In the state of NSW, it is illegal to:

    • buy or attempt to buy alcohol in a licensed premises if you're under 18 years old
    • consume alcohol in a licensed premises if you're under 18 years old
    • sell alcohol to or get alcohol for anyone under 18
    • drink or carry alcohol in an alcohol-free zone if you're under 18.

    If you're under 18 and break the law, you could be fined up to $2,200 per offence, and the licensee could lose their liquor licence.

    Proof of age

    If your son or daughter is 18 or older and want to enter licensed premises, the following are accepted identification for proof of age:

    • Australian driver's licence
    • Australian learner and provisional driver's licence
    • Australian or other passport
    • NSW photo card
    • Keypass identity card issued by Australia Post (from 1 March 2016).

    If you're a minor, it's against the law to use false identification documents as proof of age to get into a licensed venue.

    If you use false ID, you may be fined $2,200 or an on-the-spot penalty of $220. You may also have 6 months added your provisional driver's licence.

    If you're an adult and you allow a minor to use your ID, you may be fined up to $3,300 or given an on-the-spot fine of $330.

    ​Related links

    Dept. of Health - Alcohol and your kids: a guide for parents and career

    NSW Health, on binge drinking - What Are You Doing To Yourself?​

    Support for young people - ReachOut.com