Alcohol laws for under 18s

In Western Australia the alcohol laws are governed by the Liquor Control Act 1988.

Secondary supply laws

On 20 November 2015 new laws came into effect regarding the secondary supply of alcohol. Under this law it is an offence for anyone to supply under 18’s with alcohol in a private setting without parental or guardian permission. This offence carries a maximum penalty of $10,000.

Alcohol can increase the risk of injury, mental health problems, and cause permanent damage to young peoples’ developing brain. For these reasons the national health guideline for children and young people under 18 years of age, states that not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Parents not wanting their children to drink alcohol are now able to stand firm in their decision not to provide young people with alcohol as secondary supply law means adults are legally not able to give alcohol to another person’s child, on a private premise, without parental permission.

For detailed information on secondary supply, please refer to these FAQs or visit the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor website.

Alcohol laws – licensed premises and public places

The laws are different in each State or Territory regarding alcohol use by people under the age of 18. According to the Liquor Control Act 1988 in Western Australia:

  • It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 years to enter or remain on licensed premises without a legal guardian or responsible adult except under specific circumstances outlined in the Liquor Control Act 1988.
  • It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 years to purchase, attempt to purchase or obtain liquor from any other person on licensed or regulated premises. 1
  • It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 years on licensed premises or regulated premises (such as a community hall holding an 18th birthday).2
  • It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 years to consume alcohol or be in the possession of alcohol on licensed or regulated premises and it is an offence to allow that to occur.3
  • It is an offence in Western Australia for persons of any age to drink in public without a permit, such as on the street, park or beach.4

1 Liquor Control Act 1988,123(1) p. 215

2 Liquor Control Act 1988,121(1) p. 209

3 Liquor Control Act 1988,121(2) p. 209

4Liquor Control Act 1988,119(1) p. 203

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