Victoria’s supply of liquor to minors laws change tomorrow

12 September, 2018 by Andy Young

Earlier this year the Victorian Government passed the Liquor and Gambling Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (LGLA Act), which made several amendments to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (LCR Act).

The amendments under the LGLA Act have seen a number of changes for liquor licensees, and the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has said that it is the responsibility of licensees to ensure they understand their obligations under the Act. The VCGLR also said it is incumbent on licensees to make any necessary arrangement to make sure they remain compliant.

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The amendments made a number of important changes to the LCR Act to address harm minimisation in the community and to reduce red tape for licensees.

From 13 September there are a number of changes starting regarding the supply of liquor to minors on licensed premises and in residences.

Regarding supply to minors on licensed premises the VCGLR said that from tomorrow, “licensees will no longer be permitted to supply liquor to persons under 18 years of age (minors) for consumption on licensed premises under any circumstances.”

In addition: “A licensee may supply liquor to a minor if the minor is engaged to deliver that liquor to a person of or over the age of 18 years for consumption off the premises and that minor is a relative, employee or apprentice of the licensee.”

As for the supply of liquor to minors in residences, VCGLR said: “From 13 September 2018, there will also be new requirements regarding liquor supplied to minors in residences. An adult (i.e., a person over 18 who is the parent, guardian or spouse of the minor, or who is authorised to supply liquor to the minor by the minor’s parent, guardian or spouse) can only supply liquor to a minor in a residence if they can demonstrate responsible supervision of the supply of liquor.”

The factors to be considered when determining whether responsible supervision has been demonstrated include:

  • the age of the minor;
  • whether the person supplying the liquor is intoxicated;
  • whether the minor consumes food with the liquor;
  • whether the person supplying the liquor is providing supervision of the minor’s consumption of the liquor;
  • the quantity and type of liquor supplied;
  • the period of time over which the liquor is supplied; and
  • whether the minor is intoxicated.

There are also changes to the laws regarding delivery of liquor to minors which can also impact licensees. From tomorrow “a person must not, without reasonable excuse, knowingly deliver liquor to a minor. It is a reasonable excuse if the person making the delivery has seen an evidence of age document confirming the person receiving the delivery is 18 years of age or over.”

It is important for licensees to remember that they are responsible for any liquor supplied from their licensed premised, including in the instance of off-premises delivery.

Most of the other amendments under the LGLA Act have already come into place, and there are fact sheets available on the VCGLR website.