Party time: so plan properly 

Recently I have been speaking to safety around alcohol. With the hot weather now upon us and coming to the end of the year I thought I should follow up with advice around managing alcohol with teenagers.

The rules can be somewhat confusing and if not managed can lead to police callouts.

Police encourage parents and party hosts to be aware of their responsibilities when supplying alcohol to young people/minors/persons who are under the purchase age.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 has specific offences in relation to supplying alcohol to those under the purchase age. There are provisions for parents or guardians to supply alcohol to their child, or where express consent has been given, they may allow another person to supply alcohol to their child in a responsible manner.

If you are organising an after-ball event, be aware of legal obligations, specifically what constitutes ‘responsible manner’. Party hosts must meet responsibilities akin to those of Duty Managers of licenced premises.

These responsibilities include:
• active supervision of young people/minors/persons under the purchase age and alcohol
• provision of food
• choice of low or non-alcoholic drinks to be made available
• the nature event (including the size)
• provision of safe transport options home
• the period over which the alcohol is supplied
• the strength and volume of alcohol
• the age of the minor
• any other relevant matters.

If you are hosting an after-ball event ensure you have spoken to the parents of the young people/minors/persons under the purchase age to whom you are supplying alcohol, and that they have given their express permission. Both host and parents of attendees need to understand host responsibilities.

Ensure there is plenty of food, water as well as non-alcoholic drinks and everyone can get home safely.

Most importantly actively supervise your party to ensure young people/minors/persons under the purchase age have a safe and positive experience.

If the event is anticipated to be large, consider hiring accredited security for the event.

Lastly, do not allow the invite to be public on social media. I’ll say that again. Do not let the event go public on social media. In the dark ages when I was a teenager there was no social media yet it seems there were gate-crashers at every event. I shudder to think how many more of these types of incidents are as a result of  a party going viral on social media.

Contact your local police if you have any questions.

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