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Barring problem customers
Under changes to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (the Act), from 1 August 2011, licensees need to be aware of their responsibilities not to allow drunk, violent or quarrelsome persons to enter or remain on their licensed premises. To assist licensees, there are three options available to licensees when it comes to barring/banning troublesome patrons.
1. General powers to refuse a person entry to your premises
Every licensee is able to refuse entry to any person as long as the reason is not discriminatory. The licensee also has the right to ask any person to leave their licensed premises. No special laws or forms are required to do this, but if a patron continues to be a problem or if a particular incident is severe enough, the licensee may wish to carry out one of the more formal options below.
2. Discuss banning a person under the local liquor accord
This option is available to licensees who are members/signatories of a liquor accord agreement. Under the Act members of a liquor accord may agree to ban a troublesome patron from licensed premises of the participating accord licensees.
In deciding to ban a patron from venues, licensees should ensure that the process is fair and transparent. In determining the period of the ban, licensees should consider the severity of the incident and suggest banning periods that have reasonable time limits.
Under the terms of a liquor accord, accord members may disclose basic information only among other accord members about the banned patron (e.g. person’s name and the period of the ban) in order to communicate and implement the ban.
3. Issue a Barring Order
Under the Act, licensees, responsible persons and police also have the power to issue a Barring Order that is enforceable by Victoria Police. (A responsible person is any person who is in management or control of a licensed premises).
Once a person is served with a Barring Order, they must leave the venue and its vicinity, and cannot return until the Barring Order expires (the time period will be specified on the Barring Order). The vicinity of a licensed venue is defined as within 20 metres of the venue. If a person does not comply with the Barring Order, Victoria Police may issue them with an on-the-spot fine.
Victoria Police also have the option of formally charging them with an offence for which the person would be required to appear in court. An authorised Barring Order form must be used for this purpose.
The Barring Order booklets (containing 25 carbon copy forms) are available by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (please state in the subject heading 'Request for Barring Order booklet' and include venue details such as premises name, address and liquor licence number). To issue a Barring Order, you must know the name of the person, and if possible, their address and date of birth. You must also maintain a record of the people you have barred under this process. There is space on the Barring Order booklet to record each person’s details.
For information about how to change or cancel a barring order, see Request to change or cancel a barring order.
Some entertainment precincts in Victoria have been classified as Designated areas. Victoria Police have the power to ban a person from a designated area for up to 72 hours by issuing a banning notice. Victoria Police can either ban the person from all licensed premises in the designated area or from the designated area.
You may download this information in the Barring powers fact sheet (PDF, 238KB).