Intoxicated patrons in Western Australia

Responsible Service of AlcoholDo you know how to identify if a person is intoxicated? In Western Australia, the Liquor Control Act 1988 states that it is an offence for a person to sell/supply liquor to a drunk person or to allow an intoxicated person to continue to consume alcohol in licensed premises. Therefore, you need to know how to identify if a person is considered ‘drunk’ to be in line with the 1988 Act.

On a licensed or regulated premises, a person is considered intoxicated as per the Act if:

  • The person’s speech, balance, coordination and/or behaviour appears to be noticeably impaired; and

  • It is reasonable in the circumstances to believe that a person is intoxicated resulting from the consumption of liquor.

Based on the above definition of intoxication, if a the venue manager or bar attendant believes that a patron has consumed too much and is considered drunk, then the person is to be taken as drunk and may not be able to purchase or consume any more alcohol on the premises. It is the responsibility of each staff member to ensure that patrons are consuming alcohol responsibly, and it is their decision as to when the patron has consumed enough under the 1988 Act.

However, it is important to recognise that there are certain disabilities that can mimic the same symptoms as a person who may be intoxicated.

If you consider someone to be intoxicated, be conscious and ensure that the specific patron is not able to purchase or consume more alcohol. Be sure that all staff is aware. If you need further information in regard to how to define an intoxicated person in WA, we recommend you complete a Western Australia online RSA, which provides you with up-to-date legislation and laws in regard to responsible service of alcohol.