As a licensee, you’re probably aware that you have a range of responsibilities relating to the distribution of alcohol under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (the Act). You may not be aware, however, of some of the rights you have as a licensee.
You have the right to ask for a second form of identification:
If you suspect that a person attempting to enter, or purchase alcohol on your premises, may be underage, or banned from your venue, you, or your authorised security personnel, have the right to ask to view a second form of identification. You can also request to see a second form of identification if you believe the initial form provided may be fake. This process will allow you to confirm the age of a potential patron and ensures you know the true identity of those entering your venue.
You have the right to ask questions relating to the identification provided:
When patrons present at your venue, you and your security personnel have the right to ask questions relating to any identification they provide. If you suspect that the identification offered by the patron may be fake, you can ask some simple questions that the patron should be able to easily answer.
These questions might include:
“What month were you born”?
“What is your middle initial”?
“What is your postcode”?
“What is your star sign”?
“What street do you live on”?
You have the right to remove a person who you believe has supplied, or is about to supply, liquor to another person who is intoxicated on your licensed premises.
There are times when it is necessary, due to your responsibilities under the Act, to deny service of alcohol to patrons you suspect to be intoxicated. It’s important that you then ensure that all of the other staff on your premises are aware that, that particular patron is no longer to be supplied alcohol by the venue or by other patrons.
In order to ascertain whether a patron is intoxicated, it is necessary to observe whether their speech, balance, coordination and/ or general behavior indicate signs of impairment. If this is found to be the case and it is reasonable to believe that the impairment is the result of the consumption of liquor, it is important to halt the supply of alcohol to this person.
If you suspect another patron has supplied or is about to supply alcohol to an intoxicated person, you have the right to remove that person from your licensed premises.
You have the right to forcefully remove a person from your licensed premises
Many licensees are aware that they have the right to remove a person from their licensed premises; however, there are a range of factors you must consider before this action is undertaken.
You have the right to remove a person from your licensed premises, but you must use approved crowd controller to undertake this removal. This approved crowd controller must also be under your direct supervision while removing any patron. Patrons should also have the option of leaving voluntarily, prior to being removed with the use of force.
If you, as the licensee, are unavailable to supervise this removal, the person responsible for the venue at that time may instead supervise the removal of the patron.
The right to bar a person from entering or remaining on your licensed premises for a specified period of time
If you are satisfied that the welfare of a person is seriously at risk as a result of the consumption of liquor, you have the right to issue a Barring Order, restricting them from entering or remaining on your licensed premises for a period of time. You can also bar a person from your premises if they commit an offence or if they behave in an offensive or disorderly manner.
This right is particularly important to remember when dealing with patrons who regularly cause issues within your venue.
To issue a Barring Order, you must know the name of the person, and if possible, their address and date of birth. You must also maintain a record of the people you have barred under this process. The Barring Order booklets, which contain 25 carbon copy forms, are available by sending an email to the VCGLR. If a person does not comply with a Barring Order, Victoria Police may issue them with an on-the-spot fine and have the option of formally charging them with an offence.
It is always a good idea to make sure you use an Incident Register in your venue to record such matters, not only as possible evidence at a later date, but also to show Inspectors and Police how active your venue is in maintaining compliance.
To request to change or cancel a barring order, follow this link.
If you’d like any further information on your rights as a licensee, get in touch with James and Steve from On Tap Liquor Consulting here