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The legal drinking age in Victoria is 18 years, and it's generally an offence for any person to supply alcohol to a minor. This page contains information on under-18s (minors) on licensed premises.
In many instances, it's also an offence for a minor to be on licensed premises or to purchase, receive or consume alcohol.
A person under-18 years of age isn't permitted on the licensed premises unless there is a condition listed on the licence, or the minor is:
A responsible adult is defined as a person who is of or over the age of 18 years and is:
Note: A restaurant and cafe licence or an on-premises licence with restaurant conditions, permits persons under-18 to be on the licensed premises during ordinary trading hours, which is until 11pm or as stated on the licence.
Persons under-18 years cannot drink alcohol on licensed premises under any circumstances.
Previously, licensees could supply liquor to a minor for consumption on a licensed premises as part of a meal if the minor was accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse however this changed on 13 September 2018 as part of a series of amendments to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.
A licensee is permitted to supply liquor to a minor only in circumstances where the minor is engaged to deliver liquor to a person of or over the age of 18 years for consumption off the licensed premises and that minor is a relative, employee or apprentice of the licensee.
Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998, licensees/permittees can have minors on that part of their premises or authorised premises when:
Depending on the type of event, liquor licensees/permittees must submit either a notification or an application form to the VCGLR.
For more information see Hosting underage gigs.
A minor cannot be involved in the supply of alcohol, except if they are part of a training program that has approval from the VCGLR. However, they can assist in the delivery of packaged liquor to a person over 18 years of age, for consumption off the licensed premises.
For example, a staff member under-18 can carry a slab of beer to a customer's car. A minor cannot sell alcohol through a check-out in a licensed supermarket.
It is an offence for any person to supply liquor to someone under-18 years. This is where any person purchases liquor and illegally supplies to a minor, other than in a residence. See Minors, gambling and liquor for more information.
It is an offence for a person under-18 years of age to purchase or receive liquor from another person. This isn't a recent change.
A licensee/permitee must not supply liquor to a minor or sell liquor to a person who they suspect will supply liquor to a minor.
To comply with this obligation, a licensee/permittee may decide to implement internal policies. For example, no service to people aged over 18 in school uniform or individuals accompanied by a minor. This is a business decision, not a legal requirement.
Fines for service to a minor may exceed $18,000 (up to 120 penalty units) and incur demerit points.
The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 includes the following offences relating to minors. Significant fines and penalties apply.
Offences relating to licensees/permittees:
Licensees/permittees must not:
Offences relating to minors:
A person under 18 years must not:
Offences for any person:
It is an offence for any person to:
The factors that are considered when determining whether supply of liquor to a minor is being made under responsible supervision include:
Licensees are encouraged to become familiar with the Act. It's the primary piece of legislation about the regulation and supply of liquor in Victoria, and it also provides information about other issues of non-compliance. See www.legislation.vic.gov.au
Transcript for minors and alcohol on a licensed premises audio.