Last updated 16 August 2016
It is an offence to sell or otherwise supply liquor to any person under the age of 18 years (ss 155A, 156 Liquor Act 1992 (Qld) (Liquor Act)). It is an offence for any person under the age of 18 to be found consuming or in possession of liquor, or being on any licensed premises (s 157 Liquor Act). It can be an offence for anyone to drink alcohol in a public place and, if a child, to be in possession of alcohol in a public place (s 157(2) Liquor Act). There are exceptions, and the exempt minor definitions in the Liquor Act need to be carefully considered. For example, a person under the age of 18 should not be on licensed premises, however, certain exemptions can apply to this prohibition, such as that the person is eating a meal or is accompanied by a responsible adult (s 155(4) Liquor Act).
Exemptions also apply to minors who are residents at the licensed premises, who are attending a function on the premises or to an employee of the licensee who is on the licensed premises in the course of employment (s 155(4) Liquor Act).
A person under 18 should not be in an area of a licensed premises where adult entertainment (i.e. an act of explicit sexual nature (s 103N Liquor Act)) is provided (s 155AA(2) Liquor Act).
It is an offence for a person under 18 to falsely represent that they are over 18 for the purposes of gaining entry to a licensed premises, to obtain liquor or to get a proof of age document (s 158 Liquor Act). A person under 18 can be charged with being drunk and disorderly in a public place (s 10 Summary Offences Act 2005 (Qld)).
Drinking at home
There is no law that makes it an offence for a person under 18 to drink alcohol in a private home, but it is an offence if the supply is not consistent with the responsible supervision of the minor. To determine if the supply is consistent with the responsible supervision of the minor, a number of factors are considered including whether the adult or the minor are unduly intoxicated, the age of the minor, whether the minor is consuming the liquor with food, the quantity of the liquor supplied, over what period it is supplied and whether the adult is responsibly supervising the consumption by the minor (s 156A Liquor Act).