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What is the Legal Drinking Age? (Vic)

The sale, supply and consumption of alcohol in Victoria is regulated by the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998. That act makes it illegal to supply alcohol to a minor or to permit a minor to enter licensed premises except under particular circumstances. It establishes a number of offences relating to allowing a person who is below the legal drinking age to buy or consume alcohol.

The legal drinking age in Victoria is 18, as in all Australian states and territories.

Supplying alcohol to minors

Under section 119 of the Liquor Control Reform Act, it is an offence to supply alcohol or permit alcohol to be supplied to a person under the age of 18. This offence is punishable by a fine of up to 120 penalty units (currently 19,826.4).

Delivering alcohol to minors

Under section 119A it is an offence to knowingly deliver alcohol to a person who is under the age of 18.

Minors and licensed premises

A person under 18 is not allowed to be present on licensed premises unless they are:

  • Accompanied by a parent or guardian;
  • Partaking of a meal;
  • A resident of the premises.

If a licensee or permittee allows a minor to be on licensed premises under other circumstances, they are guilty of an offence punishable by a fine of up to 120 penalty units.

Minor supplying alcohol

Licensees are not allowed to permit minors to supply alcohol to others at licensed premises. However, this provision does not apply if the young person is undergoing training approved by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. In any other circumstance, a fine of up to 120 penalty units applies.

Offences by minors

It is an offence for a person below the legal drinking age of 18 to do any of the following:

  • Purchase or receive alcohol;
  • Possess or consume alcohol;
  • Enter licensed premises (except in the circumstances described above);

A minor can be fined five penalty units for this offence.

Fake ID

It is am offence to give one’s own proof of age document to another person to use to be used as proof of age by another person or to obtain a proof of age document for another person. It is also an offence to deface or interfere with a proof of age document or to make or provide a false proof of age document.

It is also an offence to provide false information when applying for a proof of age document.

Any of these acts can lead to a fine of up to 20 penalty units.

A person who suspects that a person who is trying to gain access to licensed premises, or to purchase or consume alcohol is under 18 may demand the person’s name, address and age. A person must not refuse to provide this information. Doing so can attract a fine of up to 15 penalty units.

If a person supplies a document (other than a driver’s license) as proof of ID to a person who reasonably suspects the document belongs to someone else, that the document has been forged or contains misleading information, they may seize the document.

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

Fernanda Dahlstrom

This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. 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.

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