This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom - Content Editor - Brisbane

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts. She also completed a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the College of Law in Victoria. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

What is the Legal Drinking Age? (Qld)


The legal drinking age in Queensland is 18. There are numerous criminal offences in Queensland that relate to supplying alcohol to a person under 18 or allowing a person under 18 to be on licensed premises or to possess or consume alcohol. These offences can result in fines of up to $ 33,362.5. An underage person who is found on licensed premises without a parent or guardian can also be fined up to $ 3,336.25.

Legislation

In Queensland, the Liquor Act 1992 regulates the sale of alcohol and its consumption on licensed premises. Its stated aims are to minimise harm from alcohol abuse and the adverse health and other effects of alcohol while regulating and fostering the development of the liquor and hospitality industries.

The Liquor Act establishes various offences relating to allowing underage persons to drink alcohol. These offences are punishable by fines only. However, the amount of the fine can be very high especially where the person responsible for allowing the underage person to drink is a licensee or permittee under the Liquor Act.

Minors not allowed on licensed premises

A person who is below the legal drinking age must not be on licensed premises and must not drink alcohol or be in possession of alcohol on licensed premises. A fine of up to 25 penalty units applies.

There are, however, several exceptions to this rule.

A minor who is accompanied by a parent or guardian is permitted to drink on licensed premised so long as they are responsibly supervised by their parent or guardian.

A minor who is employed at licensed premises is allowed to be on the premises and a minor who lives on the premises is also allowed to be on the premises.

Alcohol is not allowed to be sold to a minor

Section 155A of the Liquor Act states that a person must not sell liquor to a person who is below the legal drinking age and imposes a maximum penalty of a fine of 250 penalty units for a licensee, permittee or manager of licensed premises who does so and a maximum fine of 80 penalty units for anyone else who does so.

Alcohol is not to be supplied to minors on licensed premises

Section 156 of the Liquor Act provides that a person must not supply alcohol to a minor or permit alcohol to be supplied to or consumed by a person who has not reached the legal drinking age on premises that hold a liquor license or permit.

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 250 penalty units for a licensee or permittee or manager of premises and a fine of 80 penalty units for any other person.

Alcohol not to be supplied to minors in private place

Under section 156A, it is an offence to supply a minor with alcohol at a private place unless you are the minor’s parent or guardian.

A responsible adult for a minor must not supply alcohol to a minor in a private place in a way that is not consistent with the responsible supervision of the young person. Whether the supply of alcohol is consistent with the young person’s responsible supervision is to be determined based on the young person’s age, whether the adult is intoxicated, whether the young person is intoxicated, the amount of alcohol consumed and other factors.

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 80 penalty units.

Fake ID

The Liquor Act also makes it an offence to make false representations about one’s age, by claiming to be over 18. This is punishable by a fine of up to 25 penalty units (currently $3,336.25).

It is an offence to make or provide fake identification that serves as a proof of age document in order to allow a person who is not of the legal drinking age to obtain alcohol. This offence can attract a fine of up to 40 penalty units for an adult and up to 25 penalty units for a minor.

If fake ID is used by a minor trying to obtain alcohol, or genuine ID is used wrongfully, the person the ID is presented to is required to seize the ID and provide it to an investigator under the Liquor Act.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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