Criminal Allegations

‘Schoolies’: Underage drinking and the Law

MEDIA: With Adelaide’s annual ‘Schoolies’ festival around the corner, lawyer Morry Bailes told 7 News underage drinking is a legal risk for teenagers and their parents.

15/11/11: VIDEO, 7 News, Schoolies warning. Click here.

Under South Australian law, an adult cannot supply a minor with alcohol in a public place.

“If it’s supplied in a public area it’s an offence against the Liquor Licensing Act, so a parent can get into trouble for that,” Mr Bailes said.

Some parents try and ‘control’ the amount of alcohol consumed by their child by supplying a limited amount, but Mr Bailes said that is still a risk for the teen.

“It might be a moral judgment that you need to make but the safest thing may be to supply nothing, because the minute you consume it as a minor in public you’re committing an offence.”

Underage drinking can impact travel plans and future job prospects.

“Criminal convictions can affect the future of people enormously,” Mr Bailes said.

“A criminal conviction can stop you from entering the United States, for example. A criminal conviction might be something that a future employer will ask you about. Any criminal record will hamper you in future.”

Mr Bailes also warned event organisers against letting intoxicated people into their venues.

“If an organiser is going to let someone in who is intoxicated, then they have a duty of care both to that person and other people in the area,” he said.

“There is a potential civil liability if that person harms or injures someone else.”