Fact Sheet: Juveniles and Licensed Premises

If they are accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult, juveniles are allowed on licensed premises unless an area of the venue is specifically declared "out of bounds" (for example, venues that offer adult entertainment, such as skimpy barmaids).

Unaccompanied juveniles are only allowed on licensed premises under certain conditions, some of the more common of which are outlined below.

Circumstances where unaccompanied juveniles are allowed

Unaccompanied juveniles are permitted to be on licensed premises if:

  • They are carrying out their "lawful business". 
    Example 1: A 17-year-old apprentice electrician carrying out maintenance work on a licensed premises; or
    Example 2: A juvenile employed to serve meals and collect plates in a section of a licensed premise that is not primarily set aside for the service of alcohol.
  • The premise has a club licence, it does not contravene club rules/constitution or the conditions attached to the licence, and juveniles have been expressly permitted by the club committee to be there.
    Example: A licensed football club that has junior members.
  • The juvenile is part of the licensee's or manager's family, or a member of the family of a lodger.

Unaccompanied juveniles can also "pass through" areas of licensed premises (where they are not meant to be) in order to access an area of the premises where they can lawfully remain.

For example, in order to get to the restaurant section of the local pub, a juvenile must pass through the sports bar. This is allowed under the Act.

If a juvenile is found to be in a licensed premises unlawfully (i.e. not in one of the above situations), the licensee, their employee(s) and the juvenile are all committing an offence which attracts a $10,000, $4000 and $2000 penalty respectively.

Juveniles and the purchase/consumption of liquor on licensed premises

It is an offence for juveniles to purchase, consume or be supplied liquor on licensed premises.

If a juvenile is found to be purchasing/consuming liquor on licensed premises, not only will he/she be committing an offence, so too will the following:

  • The licensee;
  • The approved manager;
  • Any other person who supplies/sells the liquor; and
  • Any person who permits the sale or supply of liquor.

In the case of the licensee or manager, a $10,000 penalty will apply. A person who purchases liquor on behalf of a juvenile is committing an offence and could incur a $2000 penalty.

Juveniles employed on licensed premises

It is an offence for a child under the age of 16 to be employed in theservice of liquor on licensed premises.

However, with the permission of the Director of Liquor Licensing a juvenile 16 years or over may be employed in the service of liquor ancillary to a meal.

In this instance, the juvenile must be supervised at all times and his/her work must be assessed for the purposes of a prescribed training course (i.e. the juvenile's duties must complement an associated hospitality course).

Juveniles under the age of 16 can be employed on licensed premises as long as they are not involved in the service/supply of alcohol.

Juveniles may be asked to leave licensed premises

Where an authorised person (such as an approved manager) suspects a juvenile is on the premises unlawfully, they are entitled to ask for photo identification.

The following documents can be used for identification:

  • Australian drivers' licence;
  • Current passport; or
  • Another prescribed document (for example, a Proof of Age Card).

If the juvenile cannot produce one of the above forms of identification or the document they use is believed to be false, they will be required to leave the premises.

If the juvenile makes a false or misleading statement they are committing an offence and are liable for a $2000 penalty.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this fact sheet is general in nature – for full details, reference should be made to the Liquor Control Act 1988.

Last updated: 16/03/2015 13:53:58 PM

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