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The Liquor Licensing (Liquor Review) Amendment Act 2017 (Amendment Act) amends the Liquor Licensing Act 1997 and includes a number of changes, most of which will come into effect from 24 September 2018.

The stage 2 changes create tougher penalties for breaches of the Liquor Licensing Act 1997, expand protections for minors, reduce red tape, and introduce additional changes in the best interest of the community.

Direct sales (sales made via phone, internet, mail etc)

There are new requirements for the delivery of alcohol that has been purchased via direct sales. The changes aim to promote safe drinking, in particular the supply of alcohol to minors.

When alcohol that has been purchased via direct sales is delivered, the person accepting the alcohol must prove they are 18 years or above.

If the recipient is clearly over 18, they will be required to sign a declaration (electronically or in hard copy) that states their name, and that they are 18 years or older.  The driver will need to keep a record of this declaration.

If it is not clear to the delivery person whether the recipient is 18 or over, the recipient must show a valid ID, and the driver must keep a record of the details.

A minor can be fined if they lie about their age, or if they show false evidence of age/identity in order to take delivery of liquor.

The changes to the law also affect licensees (who sell the alcohol). They must display their licence number on all promotional material, ensure the person delivering the alcohol on their behalf is over 18, and provide that delivery person with instruction regarding the new requirements.

While these changes commence on 24 September 2018, they will not be enforced until 1 July 2019 to allow time for licensees and delivery providers to prepare for the transition.

Read more about direct sales 

Short term dry areas

Councils will have the power to declare a short term dry area of 48 hours or less without the need for approval by Consumer and Business Services (CBS), by publishing a notice in the Government Gazette.

Councils will need to publish the notice in the Gazette at least 14 days before the commencement of the dry area, and notify the Commissioner of Police within 7 days of publication.

Any existing short term dry areas that have been declared by the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner will remain in force until they expire.

The amendments will also allow an existing dry area to be varied or revoked by the Minister or Commissioner by further notice in the Gazette.

Commencing 24 September 2018.

Read more about short term dry areas

Confiscating IDs

A licensee, responsible person for the licensed premises, or a person who holds a security agent’s licence has the power to confiscate IDs (with the exception of passports and mobile devices), but only if the person is on, or trying to gain access to, a licensed premises.

Licensees reserve the right to refuse entry if they are unsure about the validity of the ID.

While not under any obligation to confiscate an ID, if an ID is seized, the person who seized the document must provide a receipt to the owner of the ID, and keep a record of the seizure that can be readily available for inspection.

Commencing 24 September 2018.

Read more about confiscating ID documents under key responsibilities of liquor licensees 

Welfare barrings

Licensees can bar a person from a licenced premises on the basis of welfare grounds, where a person, someone residing with a person, or a family member, is considered seriously at risk as a result of the consumption of alcohol.

In relation to all barring orders, a family member includes:

  • a spouse or former spouse
  • a domestic partner or former domestic partner
  • a parent, brother, sister or child.

Commencing 24 September 2018.

Read more about barrings

Direction to complete training

People who sell and serve liquor can be directed by the Commissioner to undertake specific accredited training within a period of time. This includes people that are not approved by CBS, eg bar staff.

Any person who fails to undertake the training by the specified date, or any licensee who fails to ensure their staff undertake the training, can be fined.

Commencing 24 September 2018.

Read more about direction to complete training under key responsibilities of liquor licensees

Local liquor accords

Liquor accords have previously been a voluntary agreement entered into in goodwill by councils, licensees, CBS and South Australia Police to reduce local alcohol-related issues in a specific area.

The Amendment Act formalises the current process, meaning that a local liquor accord – including variation and termination – must be a written document approved by the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner.

The Commissioner can also add or remove participants if a written request from the participant has been received.

Commencing 1 January 2019.

Disciplinary action by the Commissioner

The Commissioner has been given additional disciplinary powers, and may now:

  • hold an inquiry to determine whether to take disciplinary action against a licensee:
    • if they been convicted of or expiated an offence against the Act in relation to the sale of liquor to minors or an intoxicated person, or
    • if they have previously been convicted or expiated for the same offence and has been convicted of at least one other offence in the past 5 years.
  • decide there is cause for disciplinary action following the inquiry and:
    • suspend the licence
    • impose a condition on the licence
    • vary, suspend or revoke a condition of the licence (other than mandatory conditions).

These changes commence on 24 September 2018.

Read more about compliance and enforcement