The minimum age for a person to consume alcohol in a licensed venue or purchase alcohol is 18 years.
Penalties apply to licensees, venue staff, minors, and parents or adults responsible for a minor.
The below information contains a list of underage drinking offences and shows the maximum penalty for each offence.
Payment of a penalty notice is not an admission of guilt and will not result in a criminal history. However, a court conviction under the liquor laws will form part of a person’s criminal history.
Where it is proven that a venue sells alcohol to a minor, there is also the possibility that their licence will be suspended or cancelled.
Sell alcohol to a minor
$11,000 or 12 months imprisonment – or both
Supply alcohol to a minor on licensed premises
Supply alcohol to a minor away from licensed premises that is not consistent with the responsible supervision of the minor
Obtain alcohol for a minor from licensed premises
Send or order a minor to licensed premises to obtain alcohol
Allow liquor to be sold/supplied to a minor on licensed premises
Allow minor to sell or supply alcohol on licensed premises (without the approval of the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority)
Failure to refuse entry of suspected minor to small bar, hotel, registered club or licensed public entertainment venue
Licensee or other responsible person
Minor enters or remains in a small bar when liquor is sold and supplied
Minor enters or remains in a bar area of a hotel or a registered club
Minor enters or remains in part of a hotel without responsible adult where minor is required to be accompanied by a responsible adult
Minor enters or remains in a licensed public entertainment venue without a responsible adult - unless a minors functions authority is in force
Consume alcohol on licensed premises
Consume alcohol in an unlicensed restaurant without permission of, or in the company of, parent or guardian
Obtain, or attempt to obtain, alcohol for consumption on licensed premises
Carry away alcohol, or attempt to carry away alcohol from licensed premises - unless ordered or requested by another person
Refuse to give name and address or age when requested by an authorised person
Use false ID
Responsible adult allows minor to consume alcohol on certain licensed premises (where minor is required to be accompanied by a responsible adult)
Responsible adult leaves minor unaccompanied on certain licensed premises (where minor is required to be accompanied by a responsible adult and required notification is not provided)
A responsible adult means an adult who is:
An authorised person is:
On-the-spot fines can be issued for offences under the Liquor Act 2007 and are generally 10% of the maximum court penalty for the offence.
It is an offence for a minor to possess or consume alcohol in a public place unless the minor is under the supervision of a responsible adult, or has a reasonable excuse. A maximum penalty of $20 applies to this offence.
Possession or consumption of alcohol by minors in public places is covered by the Summary Offences Act 1988.
An escalating sanctions regime was introduced in 2014 and applies significant penalties for repeated incidents of selling alcohol to minors.
For example, on a third offence, which occurs within 12 months of (but at least 28 days after) the second offence, the venue's liquor licence is automatically cancelled and the holder is disqualified from holding a liquor licence for 12 months.