Police use YouTube to issue warning to patrons
NSW Police has used YouTube to send a strong warning about the consequences of alcohol-fuelled behaviour over summer. A two-minute broadcast by Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens tells the story of 'Michael' and how a series of bad decisions while intoxicated changed his life forever. One decision he made was refusing to leave a pub when asked.
"I have made it clear to our officers that when we're called to licensed premises because someone refuses to leave, we will be issuing a $550 penalty notice rather than simply moving people on," Deputy Commissioner Owens said. "Those issued with a penalty notice for 'failing to quit' very rarely re-offend."
NSW Police has also distributed a radio ad, 'Take the hint. Call it a night, without the fight', to stations around NSW to make patrons aware of their individual responsibilities this summer.
Patrons of licensed venues in NSW have a right to enjoy safe and responsible drinking environments. The Liquor Act 2007 supports responsible drinking and provides powers for venues and police to eject and ban troublesome patrons.
Rights of patrons include
- Access to free water – all licensed venues where alcohol is consumed on the premises in NSW are required to provide free water to patrons if requested.
- Capacity to purchase food in hotels, clubs, entertainment venues, restaurants and other venues where alcohol is consumed on the premises.
- A smoke- free environment in indoor areas of licensed venues.
- Responsible service of alcohol by staff in licensed venues.
It is an offence for licensed venues to serve or supply alcohol to intoxicated patrons or to allow intoxication on the premises. Intoxicated, violent, quarrelsome or disorderly patrons cannot remain on or in the vicinity of licensed premises. To make a complaint, you should contact your local police.
The Liquor Act 2007 includes offences and provisions to ensure patrons drink responsibly and behave appropriately in and around licensed venues.
Definition of 'intoxication'
The Act includes a definition of "intoxication" to assist licensees, staff and patrons in ensuring responsible service and consumption of alcohol. It defines a person as being intoxicated if:
- their speech, balance, co-ordination or behaviour is noticeably affected; and
- it is reasonable, given the situation, to believe that this due to the consumption of alcohol.
The Director of Liquor and Gaming has issued Guidelines relating to intoxication to assist in determining whether or not a person is intoxicated.
Supplying alcohol to intoxicated persons
It is an offence for patrons to supply alcohol to an intoxicated person on licensed premises. Offenders face a maximum fine of $1,100.
Failure to leave
Where a troublesome patron refuses to leave a licensed venue when asked by staff, the patron commits an offence. Grounds for ejection include the patron being intoxicated, violent, quarrelsome, disorderly, smoking, or using or possessing prohibited drugs. Offenders face an on-the-spot fine of $550 for each offence and maximum court fines of $5,500.
Attempt to re-enter or remain in the vicinity of premises
A patron who is refused entry to, or ejected from, licensed premises cannot re-enter or remain in the vicinity of the premises. The Act defines 'vicinity' as any area less than 50 metres from the licensed premises.
The patron must not re-enter or attempt to re-enter the premises within 24 hours of being ejected or refused entry. They must also not re-enter the vicinity within 6 hours unless the patron reasonably fears for his or her safety, needs to obtain transport, or lives within the vicinity of the premises.
Offenders face an on-the-spot fine of $550 for each offence and maximum court fines of $5,500.
Patrons with alcohol problems can enter into a self-exclusion agreement to ban themselves from licensed premises. The agreement must be in a form approved by the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority. Once such an agreement is entered into, the licensee, or a responsible member of staff, is legally allowed to prevent the patron from entering the licensed venue, and remove the patron from the venue. The licensee or staff member must use no more force than is reasonable given the circumstances.
Visit Home > Liquor > Patrons > Self-exclusion agreements for more information or to download the approved agreement forms.
Licensees can ban troublesome patrons from their premises for an indefinite period.
Other offences that apply to patrons include
- Being inside a bar area or other part of hotel premises (where liquor is sold or supplied to the public) outside approved trading hours. Note: Patrons have 30 minutes to leave a hotel premises at the end of trading. This offence does not apply to employees and hotel residents. This offence applies to a general bar hotel licence as well as a full hotel licence.
- Carrying alcohol away from licensed premises outside of authorised takeaway trading hours. Note: This offence does not apply where the alcohol was purchased during authorised takeaway trading hours, and it is carried away within 30 minutes of those trading hours. This offence does not apply to employees and residents staying at premises where takeaway sales are permitted.
- Taking alcohol away from an on-premises licence (such as a restaurant, accommodation premises public entertainment venue, or vessel).
Note: This offence does not apply if the liquor was in the patron’s possession when they entered the premises, or the premises has a take away sales authorisation, or an accommodation premises is allowed to sell takeaway to its residents. A partly consumed bottle or container of wine can be taken away from a licensed restaurant or public entertainment venue where the container is re-corked or resealed.
- Obtaining alcohol in licensed premises by falsely representing that the patron:
- is a resident of the premises or a guest of a resident of the premises, or
- is intending to eat, or has eaten, a meal on the premises, or
- is intending to purchase, or make use of, a product or service provided or supplied on the premises, or
- is attending a function on the premises.
- is an employee or agent of the licensee.
What is a standard drink?
Assess your consumption of alcohol in order to drink safely and responsibly.
NSW Smoke Free Laws
Smoke free laws in NSW are regulated by the NSW Department of Health. If you have a complaint regarding a breach of these laws, please contact your local public health unit (NSW Health).
Did you find what you were looking for?
Was this page helpful to you? We would like to hear your feedback.