Victoria’s regulator invokes first demerit suspension

09 October, 2019 by Andy Young

A karaoke bar in Melbourne has become the first venue in Victoria to have its licence suspended under the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) demerit system.

Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998, liquor licensees incur demerit points relating to offences such as supplying liquor to an intoxicated person, permitting a drunk person on their premises, or supplying liquor to an underage person on a licensed premises.

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A spokesperson for the VCGLR said: “The VCGLR issued a written notice of suspension to the licensee of Bass Lounge in Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, after it recorded a fifth demerit point for non-compliance.

“As a result, the venue was banned from selling liquor for a 24-hour period from 7.00am on Friday 4 October 2019.

“A suspension of licence is triggered when a licensed venue reaches a threshold number of demerit points (five, 10, and 15 demerits).

“The case of Bass Lounge is the first instance where a demerit points threshold has been reached by a licensee in Victoria. The demerit points system is designed to encourage compliance with liquor laws and foster a responsible liquor industry.”

Venues that do not comply with liquor laws can face a range of enforcement actions including prosecution, demerit points, infringement notices, warnings and disciplinary action.

Licensees who incur a demerit point are required to undertake additional training and education to ensure they are aware of their obligations and to reduce the likelihood of additional breaches.

The VCGLR spokesperson added: “With over 11,750 liquor inspections undertaken so far this year, the VCGLR takes matters of non-compliance seriously and will take appropriate enforcement action in such cases.

“The VCGLR is committed to regulating Victoria’s gambling and liquor industries to ensure their integrity and to minimise harm so that Victorians and visitors can enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments.”