In South Australia, Deputy Premier John Rau has put new laws before parliament to reform the state’s liquor licensing system and crack down on underage drinking.
Measures include the introduction of a new on-thespot fine of $500 for anyone who gives alcohol to a minor in a public place, and $210 on-the-spot fines for underage drinkers who solicits the sale.
Owners or managers of businesses that sell alcohol to young people or allow them to drink alcohol in a pub, club or restaurant would face new fines of $1200. The maximum court-imposed penalty would rise from $5000 to $10,000 for the adult, but would drop from $5000 to $2500 for the minor involved.
A comprehensive review of the Liquor Licensing Act was conducted by former judge Tim Anderson in 2016. The Government accepted most of Mr Anderson’s 129 recommendations and MPs are debating the resulting legislation in state Parliament.
It also covers the supply of alcohol to young people at events such as formal after parties, which has been a grey area in the law until now. It would be an offence for someone to give free alcohol to underage drinkers at a home, warehouse or other space hired for an event - unless they were the young person’s parent or had the permission of their parent. Both the adult and the young person also must not be intoxicated.
Mr Rau said parents giving “a half a glass of champagne” to their child on a special occasion were not the target of the new rules.