New liquor laws came into force on July 1, and with them comes a new definition of ‘intoxication’

Licensing Police in the Richmond Area Command say there are some important changes to the Liquor Act 2007 — an act which covers all licensed premises where alcohol is sold or supplied.

Police said important changes that may effect some patrons at licensed venues included: 

1. Definition of Intoxication for the purpose of this act is when: The person’s speech, balance, co-ordination or behaviour is noticeably affected and it is reasonable in the circumstances to believe that the affected speech, balance, co-ordination or behaviour is the result of the person consuming liquor.

“As can be seen from the above meaning, this is well below the level of intoxication that most people would consider to be ‘drunk’,” police said.

2. Section 77 allows for an intoxicated person to be turned out/excluded from licensed premises by an authorised person, being the licensee, staff member, security or police.

“Section 77 also allows for the exclusion of patrons who are violent, quarrelsome disorderly, or whose presence in the premises may render the licensee liable to a penalty under this act, who smokes in a smoke-free area, who has or uses a substance which an authorised person suspects of being a prohibited drug or plant, and any person subject of a banning order,” police said.

“Failing to leave when requested may leave the person liable to an on-the-spot fine of $550, being issued with a court attendance notice or being arrested and charged. 

A court may impose a fine of up to $5500.
“Also under this section there has been the creation of a new offence for attempting to re-enter premises within 24 hours,” Licensing Police said.

“Also new under the act, it is an offence to remain within the vicinity of a licensed premises once being removed.

“The term vicinity has been defined in the act as being with 50m of the boundary of the premises. Again, on-the-spot fine $550 or a trip to court.

“In short, if you are asked to leave a licensed premises by an authorised person as set out above, you must leave immediately — there is no provision to say ‘when I finish my drink’) and — once outside you must move more than 50m away from the premises and not attempt to re-enter the premises or the 50m zone for a period of 24 hours.”