Eagle Tavern and its entire staff have a responsibility to ensure that liquor is sold and supplied to patrons in a responsible manner.
All staff should be aware of what is expected of them, in regards to the laws and the service of alcohol to patrons of the club, as staff can be held liable for offences committed.
It is an offense to:
- Sell liquor to;
- Supply liquor to; or
- Allow liquor to be supplied to or consumed by: A PERSON WHO IS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE; or WHO IS UNDULY INTOXICATED OR DISORDERLY
There are heavy penalties for committing these offences:
- Maximum fines for a licensee/nominee are $66,725.
- Maximum fines for a staff member or licensed premise are $10,676.
Staff should make sure, prior to serving a patron, or allowing a patron to enter the premises, that the person is 18 years of age or older. If there is any doubt, identification will be requested.
The only times when a minor is allowed on a licensed premises are if the minor:
- Lives on the premises
- Is an employee, or receiving work experience or training
- Is attending a function e.g. wedding
- Is eating a meal on the premises
- Is accompanied by a responsible adult
Minors are only permitted on the premises so long as the minor is participating in the activity for which is the primary purpose of the club (soccer, AFL, cricket).
A responsible adult in relation to a minor is the parent, step-parent, guardian or an adult who has parental rights and responsibilities in relation to the minor, whilst the minor is on licensed premises or in a public place.
Only three forms of identification are acceptable as proof of age. These are:
- Photographic driver’s licence
- A proof of age card issued by a Government Department or approved entity (e.g. card 18+, key pass)
- An Australian or foreign passport
The Australian I.D Checking Guide, published by the Liquor Licensing Division, details the actual cards and licenses issued by each State and Territory.
If staff believe that a document being presented is false, defaced or in the possession of a person who is not the owner of the I.D, then the document should be confiscated and forwarded to the Liquor Licensing Division.
The Queensland Liquor Act 1992 s4 defines ‘Unduly Intoxicated’ as:
“A state of being in which a person’s mental and physical faculties are impaired because of consumption of liquor so as to diminish the person’s ability to think and act in a way which an ordinary prudent person in full possession of his or her facilities, and using reasonable care, would act in like circumstances.”
Staff should use commonsense in determining whether a person is unduly intoxicated.
There are several signs, which, in combination, may indicate that a person has had too much to drink. These signs include:
- Mood changes
- Slurring or mistakes in speech
- Raised speaking voice
- Clumsiness, fumbling with change
- Loss of balance or coordination, swaying or staggering
- Confusion, lack of ability to hear or respond
Licensees and staff DO NOT COMMIT an offence if an intoxicated person is on their premises, although the intoxicated person does.
Licensees and staff DO COMMIT an offence if they sell or supply liquor to unduly intoxicated or disorderly patrons.
Service is refused to patrons for the following reasons:
- Safety of the patron
- Safety of others
- Provisions of the Liquor Act (e.g. if the person is a minor or unduly intoxicated or disorderly)
- Civil liability
Staff of licensed premises MAY refuse service to patrons at any time (e.g. patrons not meeting management’s dress regulations)
Staff MUST refuse service to patrons who are minors or unduly intoxicated or disorderly.
When refusing service to a patron:
- Use tact – politely inform the patron you will not serve them any more alcohol. Do not speak to the patron in the front of other patrons.
- Repeat firmly, that by law they cannot be served another drink. You may offer a non-alcoholic drink or suggest that they order something to eat.
- Notify the Duty Manager, Security and other bar staff that you have refused service to the patron.
- If considered necessary, management may impose a short-term ban.
- Staff should be sure of their reasons for refusal of service, which should not be based on race, sex, etc. The patron has a right to take the matter to the Human Rights or Equal Opportunity Commission if they feel they have been the victim of discrimination.
It should be a decision of management as to whether or not patrons are refused admittance at the entrance to the premises, although assessment by door staff of a patron’s state of intoxication can avoid transferring the problem to staff inside the premises.