KEEPING SPIRITS HIGH: BALANCING INTOXICATION PREVENTION AND PROFITABILITY

While licensees are responsible for preventing intoxication on their premises, ensuring venues use effective strategies to prevent intoxication is a balancing act between maintaining a secure environment and running a profitable business.

Across Australia, penalties for allowing the supply of alcohol to someone who is intoxicated range widely.

Queensland tops the list, with a fine of $80,650 to the licensee, permit holder or approved manager.

The maximum penalty in Victoria is $23,077, NSW has a penalty of $11,000 while in South Australia it is set at $20,000 for the first offence and $40,000 per subsequent infringement.

Licensees may also receive demerit points or other penalties, staff may be banned from working in the field, and patrons may also be fined.

Each state has also provided a range of support options to help employers keep staff in compliance with the regulations.

Last year the Victorian government released a ‘Zero in on intoxication’ checklist to assist businesses audit their strengths and weaknesses in dealing with intoxicated patrons, which includes action steps to take where necessary.

The Victorian government also produced a series of short YouTube videos to help staff identify and refuse service appropriately.

Aside from providing staff with ongoing training, other prevention techniques advised by state governments include:

  • displaying posters with information on confidential support services for patrons;
  • engaging with patrons to monitor their behaviour;
  • implementing in-house policies and procedures.

The Victorian government recommends all licensed venues have a current venue management plan which details policies and procedures such as managing minors, responsible service of alcohol, first aid procedures and dealing with theft and damage.

It further recommends involving staff in regular reviews of the plan to keep them engaged in implementation.

By leveraging resources like these, venues can enhance their ability to responsibly manage alcohol service and maintain a secure environment.

This approach not only mitigates legal risks but also fosters a culture of accountability that promotes long-term success in the industry.

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