The ‘grace period‘ is a period of thirty (30) minutes after closing time when patrons can remain on the licensed premises to finish their drinks.
The grace period is maximum of thirty (30) minutes. So if the normal closing time is midnight, patrons may stay on the premises and have until 12.30 am to finish their drinks. Their drinks must have been purchased before the closing time at midnight.
If an extended hours permit or extended trading hours approval allows trading until 5 am, the grace period still applies and would allow consumption until 5.30 am of drinks which were purchased by 5 am.
If patrons remain on the premises after the grace period, this may be considered as after-hours trading. Both licensees and patrons could be fined. Investigators and police have the power to request patrons leave or to remove patrons from the premises after hours.
Learn more about “grace periods” in the Responsible Management of Licensed Venues (RMLV) training course and protect yourself from heavy fines.