Although Responsible Service of Alcohol is a nationwide initiative, each government has its own guidelines in relation to this to best look after its community. With the release of RSA Western Australia online training, we’ll take a look at underage drinking in WA and how this can affect you.
The sale and supply of alcohol in Western Australia is governed by the Liquor Control Act 1988 (as amended). This Act is administered by the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor. They are responsible for issuing liquor licences and can provide information on the various types of licences, probity issues and costs of licences.
The purpose of the Liquor Control Act (1988) is primarily to regulate the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol, and to minimise harm or ill-health caused to people due to the use of alcohol.
One clause of the Liquor Control Act (1988) defines underage drinking on licensed premises and the penalties surrounding this. It is important to keep youth safe from the negative effects of alcohol and prevent early addiction, therefore, it is illegal for anyone under 18 to consume alcohol on licensed premises (e.g. pubs, nightclubs) or possess or bring alcohol on to licensed premises.
It is an offence for anyone to someone under the age of 18 (Minor) to enter or remain on licensed premises, except under specific circumstances outlined in the Liquor Control Act 1988. Your penalty for this offence would be a $200 infringement or maximum $2000 fine.
It is also illegal to sell or supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 years on licensed premises. Penalties of this offence –
- for a Licensee or Manager: $1,000 infringement or maximum $10,000 fine;
- for the Employee who served the Minor: $400 infringement or maximum $4,000 fine;
- any other person, staff or security staff that could have prevented the offence: $200 infringement or maximum $2,000 fine
Proof of age is highly important in identifying a minor and preventing the above offences. There are only three acceptable forms of photo ID (Section 126(2) LCA):
- current Australian Driver’s Licence with photograph
- current passport
- current Western Australian Proof of Age card
Refusing service of alcohol is also an important section of Responsible Service of Alcohol. It is an offence for employers or employees of licensed premises to sell or supply alcohol to a drunken person. The penalties –
- for a Licensee or Manager: $1000 infringement or maximum $10,000 fine
- for the Employee who served the drunken person: $400 infringement or maximum $4,000 fine
- any other person, staff, or security staff that may have prevented the offence: $200 infringement or maximum $2,000 fine
Due to these penalties and offences, entry into licensed premises may be refused for reasons such as drunkenness, disorderly behaviour, unacceptable dress, false or insufficient photo identification, or being underage.
Knowing your rights as a staff member or licensee, when dealing with patrons, is just as important as knowing how to serve alcohol responsibly in Western Australia.
For more information on RSA Western Australia or to study your RSA online and launch your hospitality career, visit our Online Training Menu – Club Training Australia.