Alcohol Service And Minors

Responsible Service of AlcoholRSA staff should understand that the legal drinking age is set because alcohol can be very dangerous to young people. This is because they generally lack the experience of dealing with alcohol and their internal organs haven’t finished developing, so a small amount may have a much larger effect than it does on adults.

Studies have shown that those who first became drunk by the age of 19, are more likely to be alcohol dependent and heavy drinkers later in life. The safest option is to delay the first alcoholic drink for as long as possible. A plan is needed to prevent the illegal supply of liquor to people under 18 years of age.

There are heavy penalties for licensees and staff who illegally:

  • Allow minors on licensed premises

  • Supply liquor to minors.

Staff should request identification if there is any doubt about the age of the customer. Some licensees have found it useful to check ID for all customers who look to be under 25 years of age. Drink waiters and glassies that walk around the floor area of venues can potentially identify underage drinkers who are not going to the bar to order.

RSA staff should also ensure that the ID presented is not fake, some common methods used to present fake IDs are:

  • Using another person’s ID

  • Applying transparent film that provides different particulars

  • Altering the date of birth

When checking a person’s ID:

  • Check for the consistency of holograms

  • Pay close attention to their physical features such as their nose, freckles, etc.

  • Carefully check the date of birth for liquid paper, tampering or scratching

  • Ask them their birth date or star sign.

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