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Free drinking water for patrons

Free water posterOffering free water is an important part of the responsible service of alcohol as it helps patrons slow down their rate of intoxication and provide an alternative to consuming alcohol.

Download a poster advising patrons of the availability of free water in your venue and your commitment to responsible service of alcohol by clicking on the image (right) or contact the VCGLR on 1300 182 457 or email contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au.

Licensed venues that supply alcohol for consumption on-site are required to provide free drinking water to their patrons. Failure to supply free drinking water could attract substantial fines.

Can the VCGLR exempt a premises from the mandatory water requirement?

Yes. The VCGLR has the discretion to exempt a premises from the mandatory water requirement. You can apply for an exemption by submitting the exemption form (PDF, 338 KB).

What happens if a venue does not supply free water?

Failure to provide free drinking water could result in a fine of up to $4,428.

How are venues expected to supply water?

It is up to the licensee how they supply drinking water, this could be via self-service or upon request. For example, a restaurant may find it more convenient to supply free water by providing a bottle of water and glasses or they may wish to provide water by the glass. A nightclub may want to provide free water at a water cooler. 

Provided free drinking water is readily available to patrons, licensees will be considered to be meeting their obligations.

 

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