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Parents supplying alcohol to minors

Parents, guardians, or someone authorised by a parent or guardian, can supply alcohol to a minor when the minor is:

  • away from a licensed premises
  • at a private gathering or at home
  • in an unlicensed restaurant.

The provision of alcohol must be consistent with the responsible supervision of the minor.

Responsible supervision of a minor

The relevant matters that would be considered by the courts in determining the responsible supervision of a minor include:

  • the age of the child
  • if the parent, guardian or authorised person is intoxicated
  • if the child is consuming food with the alcohol
  • if the person supplying the alcohol is responsibly supervising the child's consumption of that alcohol
  • the quantity and type of alcohol, and the time period over which it is supplied.

The supply of alcohol to a child who is intoxicated is not, in any circumstance, considered responsible supervision of a minor.


Significant penalties can apply where alcohol is provided to a child who is intoxicated or not in a manner that is consistent with the responsible supervision of the minor.

A $1,100 on-the-spot penalty can be issued or the courts can impose fines of up to $11,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment.

Alcohol and your kids

The Australian Government's Department of Health publishes guidelines to help parents understand the risks of alcohol consumption by young people.

The guidelines note that children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking, and that for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important. For young people aged 15−17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.

Learn more: Alcohol and your kids: a guide for parents and carers