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Learn about what young adults need to know about proving their age for entering licensed premises and purchasing alcohol, gaming and tobacco products.

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Be aware of the main underage drinking offences by minors and adults and the maximum monetary penalties for those offences.

Important information for parents and guardians who supply alcohol to their children

From 15 December 2014, parents and guardians (or persons authorised by a parent or guardian) must ensure that any alcohol they supply to their underage child (i.e. under the age of 18 years) is consistent with the responsible supervision of that child.

These laws apply where alcohol is provided to an underage child away from licensed premises, such as in a family home or at a public family gathering.

What is responsible supervision of a child?

The relevant matters relating to responsible supervision which need to be considered by parents and guardians (and which would be considered by the courts in determining any offences) include the following:

The new laws make it quite clear that the supply of alcohol to an underage child who is intoxicated is not, in any circumstances, consistent with the responsible supervision of a child.

Significant penalties can apply where alcohol is provided to a child who is intoxicated or not in a manner that is consistent with the responsible supervision of the child. A $1,100 on-the-spot fine can be issued. Court imposed penalties of up to $11,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment can also apply.

The new laws do not allow parents and guardians to supply alcohol to their underage children on licensed premises. The supply of alcohol to a minor on licensed premises remains an offence in any circumstance.

Further information about underage drinking offences and the restrictions applying to under 18s in licensed premises is available here.

Alcohol and your kids – A guide for parents and carers

The Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing publishes guidelines to help parents understand the risks of alcohol consumption by young people. The guidelines note that children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking, and that for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important. For young people aged 15−17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.

The guidelines are available at http://alcohol.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/guide-parent