Will you invite guests who are younger than the legal drinking age (18 years old in Australia)?
It is against the law to supply alcohol to teenagers who are underage without the consent of their parent or guardian. If underage guests will be attending, inform their parents and ask them whether or not they will allow their child to drink. Underage guests must have consent from their parents to drink. See our legal factsheet here.
If you do gain consent from parents for their underage teens to drink alcohol, you are required by law to responsibly supervise them at all times. This includes:
- Making sure they don’t get drunk
- If you are supervising, you cannot get drunk either
If you do not gain permission from parents of underage teenagers, you will need to monitor these teens at the party to make sure they are not drinking alcohol. This can be difficult to do. You may want to think about some options to make this easier, such as:
- A wristband system at your party, with different colours for guests under 18, and whether for underage teenagers their parents have provided consent for them to drink alcohol.
- Using a bar service at your party which requires proof of age or consent to order a drink. This could be done either by hiring a professional service or getting help from relatives or other parents.
Consider the impact for non-drinkers at the party, such as feeling excluded or embarrassed. Try to get your teenager to come up with ways to ensure they still have an enjoyable party experience, such as providing mocktails (alcohol-free cocktails) or organising some games that don’t include alcohol.
Will guests be allowed to bring their own alcohol?
- Guests bringing their own alcohol will be able to drink as much and as often as they like and can also bring high-strength alcoholic drinks. This can make it harder for parents to monitor safe consumption of alcohol.
- One alternative is to ask an adult to serve alcohol to guests, like in a bar or licensed venue. This will allow the adult(s) to monitor how much, how often, and what alcoholic drinks the guests are drinking.
- If you decide not to allow guests to bring their own alcohol, make this clear on the invitation.