RSA and Secondary Sales

Responsible Service of AlcoholLiquor cannot be sold legally to a minor. In addition, where there are reasonable grounds for considering that an adult is purchasing alcohol for a minor, RSA QLD staff must decline the sale. When an adult attempts to buy liquor for a minor -this is called a secondary sale.

Examples of secondary sales might be:

  • Minors in a store accompanied by an 18 year old who is making a large purchase
  • Parents purchasing liquor for a child who is obviously under 18
  • You decline to serve some minors and a short time later an adult enters your store and makes the same order they made
  • You see a group of minors hanging around in front of the store, and then an adult enters and makes a large order of various drinks popular with young people
  • An older brother or sister making a large purchase for a group of minors to attend a festival or big event such as schoolies

Secondary supply has grown as a community issue over the last decade. It has coincided with the rise in concern about high risk drinking by adolescents, its potential impact on immediate and longer term health and safety, and realisation of the role adults play in providing comparatively large amounts of alcohol to children, or enabling them to drink in risky circumstances.

The issue arises most commonly at teenage parties when alcohol is supplied by the party hosts, often with inadequate adult supervision. Some parents are concerned that their child is being supplied with alcohol, or has access to it, and is thereby vulnerable to alcohol-related risk, particularly without their knowledge or consent.

Parents, sometimes, supply young people with alcohol (i.e. for parties) in the hope that will control the amount their children will drink, on the assumption that their children won’t source an additional amount elsewhere. Parents may want their children to avoid the “wet paint syndrome” where a forbidden behaviour becomes particularly attractive.

Risky drinking by young people is closely associated with unsupervised drinking, but parents often supply the alcohol consumed by adolescents in unsupervised situations.

Problems associated with the behaviour of intoxicated underage teenagers at events such as Schoolies and youth parties held at private residences recently led the Queensland Government to introduce rigorous legislation to limit the supply of alcohol to adolescents and to control the circumstances in which adolescents drink.