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28 October 2019

Sydney CBD restaurant penalised for serving alcohol to minors

Café Del Mar Sydney, a licensed restaurant in Cockle Bay Wharf, has had its licence suspended for 24 hours for serving alcohol to three 16-year-old girls.

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has sanctioned the restaurant for the offence, which was identified by NSW Police on the afternoon of Saturday 4 May.

As a result, the venue has been prevented from trading on Monday 4 November.

Police observed CCTV footage at the licensed restaurant which depicted three girls approaching the bar counter and one at a time, ordering alcoholic drinks.
Still image from CCTV footage of minors buying alcohol at Cafe del Mar Sydney

One of the girls bought a cocktail, which she later posted a photo of to her Facebook page. The other two girls each ordered a beer.

In subsequent interviews with the venue’s employees, one of the bar staff admitted to serving the minors without asking for photo ID.

Police issued the member of staff who served the minors with a penalty notice for the offence.

Under the Minors Sanctions Scheme, the Authority can hand out escalating penalties to venues found guilty of serving alcohol to minors. For first offences the Authority may order the suspension of the licence for a period not exceeding 28 days.

In handing out the suspension, the Authority noted that the venue had no adverse history of compliance issues with its liquor licence.

Authority chair Philip Crawford said serving alcohol to minors is one of the most serious offences under NSW liquor laws due to the high risks of harm.

“This case should serve as a reminder to all venues as we approach the busy festive season,” he said.

“Under the Minors Sanction Scheme, escalating penalties apply for selling alcohol to under 18s including liquor licence suspensions, cancellations and disqualifications.

“Licensed venues are advised to ask for age ID of any patrons who appear under the age of 25.”

Further information on underage drinking laws is available here.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Eric Aubert (02) 9995 0794, 0438 207 294