Tips for Parents

The legal age for people to purchase alcohol in Australia is 18 years. Children and teenagers below 18 years are sometimes supplied alcohol by parents, friends and family members. This section will provide parents with information to understand why children and teenagers under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol. 

The legal age for people to drink in Australia is 18 years of age

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) alcohol guidelines for young people give you important reasons not to give alcohol to your child if they are under 18 years of age.1

There is increasing evidence about the effect alcohol has on the developing brain and this knowledge provides us with the opportunity to help our children to reach their full potential. As a parent, you can provide your child with information about the effects of alcohol on the developing brain and support them to not use alcohol for as long as possible, particularly before they turn 18.

Adolescence is a critical period in your child’s development, when they are becoming an adult. What, and how your child learns during their teenage years can set their pathway for later life. As parents, we all want to see our children do well in life, as well as being healthy and happy.2


National Health and Medical Research Council. (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol: Commonwealth of Australia


Department for Communities Office for Youth and Drug and Alcohol Office. (2007). Young People and Alcohol. Government of Western Australia.

Page last updated: 24 February 2021

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