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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

Our vision is that Victorians and visitors enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments.
Gambling
Gambling
The VCGLR regulates businesses focusing on the people, premises, products and promotions involved in supplying gambling to ensure the integrity of Victoria's gambling industries and to minimise harm.
Every situation is unique.
What best describes your situation in the Victorian gambling industry?
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Liquor
Liquor
The VCGLR regulates businesses focusing on the people, premises, products and promotions involved in supplying liquor to ensure the integrity of Victoria's liquor industries and to minimise harm.
Every situation is unique.
What best describes your situation in the Victorian liquor industry?
  • Restaurant / Cafe
  • Bar / Night club
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Under-18 patrons on licensed premises

The legal drinking age in Victoria is 18 years, and it's generally an offence for any person to supply alcohol to a minor. This page contains information on under-18s (minors) on licensed premises.

In many instances, it's also an offence for a minor to be on licensed premises or to purchase, receive or consume alcohol.

When can a minor remain on licensed premises?

A person under-18 years of age isn't permitted on the licensed premises unless there is a condition listed on the licence, or the minor is:

  • in the company of a responsible adult, or
  • having a meal, or
  • is a resident, if accommodation is supplied
  • employed by the licensee but not involved in the supply of alcohol
  • completing a training program in hospitality.

A responsible adult is defined as a person who is of or over the age of 18 years and is:

  • the minor's parent, step-parent, guardian, grandparent, or
  • the minor's spouse who is above the age of 18, or
  • a person who is acting in place of a parent and who could reasonably be expected to exercise responsible supervision of the minor.

Note: A restaurant and cafe licence or an on-premises licence with restaurant conditions, permits persons under-18 to be on the licensed premises during ordinary trading hours, which is until 11pm or as stated on the licence.

Can a minor drink alcohol?

Persons under-18 years can't drink alcohol on licensed premises under any circumstances.

Previously, licensees could supply liquor to a minor for consumption on a licensed premises as part of a meal if the minor was accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse. This change come into effect on 13 September 2018 as part of a series of amendments to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.

Can a minor be involved in the delivery of liquor?

A licensee is permitted to supply liquor to a minor only in circumstances where the minor is engaged to deliver liquor to a person of or over the age of 18 years for consumption off the licensed premises and that minor is a relative, employee or apprentice of the licensee.

What about underage or mixed-age events?

Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998, licensees/permittees can have minors on that part of their premises or authorised premises when:

  • a mixed-age live music event is being held in accordance with notice given to the VCGLR and prescribed conditions, and
  • liquor isn't supplied, consumed or made available on that part of the premises.

Depending on the type of event, liquor licensees/permittees must submit either a notification or an application form to the VCGLR.

For more information see Hosting underage gigs.

Can a minor serve alcohol?

A minor can't be involved in the supply of alcohol, except if they're part of a training program that has approval from the VCGLR. However, they can assist in the delivery of packaged liquor to a person over 18 years of age, for consumption off the licensed premises.

For example, a staff member under-18 can carry a slab of beer to a customer's car. A minor can't sell alcohol through a check-out in a licensed supermarket.

Can a minor be supplied liquor?

It's an offence for any person to supply liquor to someone under-18 years. This is where any person purchases liquor and illegally supplies to a minor, other than in a residence. See Minors, gambling and liquor for more information.

Why was was I refused service because a minor was with me?

It's an offence for a person under-18 years of age to purchase or receive liquor from another person. This isn't a recent change.

A licensee/permitee must not supply liquor to a minor or sell liquor to a person who they suspect will supply liquor to a minor.

To comply with this obligation, a licensee/permittee may decide to implement internal policies. For example, no service to people aged over 18 in school uniform or individuals accompanied by a minor. This is a business decision, not a legal requirement.

Fines for service to a minor may exceed $18,000 (up to 120 penalty units) and incur demerit points.

What are the key offences relating to minors?

The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 includes the following offences relating to minors. Significant fines and penalties apply.

Offences relating to licensees/permittees:

Licensees/permittees must not:

  • supply liquor or allow liquor to be supplied to a minor.
  • permit a minor to supply liquor on licensed premises.
  • let a minor on licensed premises, unless the minor meets the requirements above, see When can a minor remain on licensed premises?

Offences relating to minors:

A person under 18 years must not:

  • purchase or receive liquor from another person
  • drink alcohol on licensed premises
  • possess or consume liquor elsewhere unless an exemption applies
  • enter or remain on licensed premises unless the minor meets the requirements above, see When can a minor remain on licensed premises?
  • falsely represent themselves to be of, or over, 18 years of age
  • refuse or give a false name, age or address
  • deface a proof of age document.

Offences for any person:

It is an offence for any person to:

  • send a minor to obtain liquor
  • supply liquor to someone under 18 years of age, unless supplied in a residence by a parent, guardian or spouse or by someone authorised to do so by a parent, guardian or spouse of the minor and only if the adult supplying the liquor demonstrates responsible supervision of the supply
  • give proof of age documentation to another person, if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the documentation may be used as proof of age by that person, or as evidence to gain proof of age to purchase liquor or enter a licensed premises
  • make a false document that could reasonably be taken as proof of age or to provide these documents to another person to purchase liquor to enter a licensed premises.
What does responsible supervision of supply mean?

The factors that are considered when determining whether supply of liquor to a minor is being made under responsible supervision include:

  • the age of the minor;
  • whether or not the person supplying the liquor is intoxicated;
  • whether or not the minor is consuming food with the liquor;
  • whether or not the person supplying the liquor is providing supervision of the minor’s consumption of the liquor;
  • the quantity and type of liquor being supplied;
  • the period of time over which the liquor is supplied;
  • whether or not the minor is intoxicated.
Where can I find more information about the Act?

Licensees are encouraged to become familiar with the Act. It's the primary piece of legislation about the regulation and supply of liquor in Victoria, and it also provides information about other issues of non-compliance. See www.legislation.vic.gov.au

Page last modified 
5 January 2018