Getting drunk and drunken behaviour is viewed to be a common and sometimes expected part of the drinking experience in Western Australia. Changing community acceptance of drunkenness and the problems that go with it is one of the most important parts of creating a less harmful drinking culture.
Creating support and expectations for licensed settings that encourage sensible drinking through the responsible service of alcohol is one strategy to assist in reducing alcohol-related problems on and off licensed premises.
In Western Australia, there are laws in relation to serving alcohol. A licensee, manager or employee (whether in paid employment or as a volunteer) are required to comply with these laws:
Responsible service laws help to reduce the likelihood that others will cause problems for you, your friends or your family.
How can I support responsible service of alcohol?
Can I be refused entry to a licensed premise or service of alcohol if I appear to be drunk?
Answer: Yes. If your speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably impaired it is reasonable for bar staff to believe that you are drunk and as such are supported by the law to refuse entry or service.
Is it an offence for bar staff to serve alcohol to me when I appear to be drunk?
Answer: Yes. It is an offence to sell or supply alcohol to a drunken person on licensed or regulated premises.
Isn’t it the individual‘s responsibility to stop drinking rather than it being up to the bar staff to refuse them service?
Answer: Alcohol is a drug that affects the central nervous system and brain function. Consuming alcohol can affect the drinker’s ability to think rationally and to reasonably deal with situations or their environment. Bar staff have a legal responsibility to refuse service of alcohol to people who are drunk.
A selection of posters has been developed for retailers. Select and download the posters which are relevant to your environment, from our Resources section.
Call the Alcohol and Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 toll free for country callers.
For emergencies call the 000 emergency line.