From the Newsroom

New Lower Clarence liquor rule for under 18’s

Rodney Stevens


If you’re under 18 and are thinking about sneaking into a licensed premises, be warned – new liquor accord rules in the Lower Clarence mean you’ll have to wait until you’re at least 19 before you can enjoy a drink with friends at a pub or club.

President Chris Durrington said the new rule, which received the full support of local licensing police, and was ratified at the October meeting of the Lower Clarence Liquor Accord targets fake identification and under-age drinking.

“If you’re 17 and you get caught under-age drinking on premises, your barring starts from when you turn 18,” he said.

“You can’t go into a pub or club or restaurant that is a licensed premises until you are 19.

“If you get caught again a second time, your ban from licensed premises will extend until you’re 20.”

The new rule for 18’s has been implemented successfully in other areas including Coffs Harbour. 

Presenting fake identification becomes more prolific in holiday periods, Mr Durrington said.

“Especially around this time of year at the pubs, a lot of kids from Sydney bring up fake id’s…there’s a few fake apps that they use that look 100 per-cent, but there are a few things we look for to identify it’s fake,” he said.

“The licensing police have increased their presence recently and have been doing walk-throughs of premises at least every couple of weeks.”

Stiff penalties apply for licensed premises selling alcohol to a minor with a fine of $11,000 or up to 12 months imprisonment, or both, for both the person selling the alcohol and the licensee. 

Mr Durrington said the new rule for under 18’s will work hand-in-hand with the liquor accords barred from one, barred from all policy.

“We’ve had the barred from one, barred from all, successful initiative that’s been going for a few years,” he said.

“If you commit an offence in any club, pub or any licensed establishment you can be put on the barred list, so you will be barred from anywhere in the Lower Clarence that sells alcohol.

“Restaurants, bottle shops, clubs, pubs, every licensed premises.”

Since the implementation of the barred from one, barred from all initiative, Mr Durrington said all venues had experienced a dramatic drop in offences committed at premises.

“Since we started the barred from one, barred from all, crime rate in the clubs and pubs is down about 80 per-cent,” he said.

“They see the sign, especially if they’re locals, that they can’t go to the pub or the club for a year and it just stops them.”

Mr Durrington said Liquor Accord bans were recognised by many premises that use drop in licence scanning technology, who then use their discretion to choose whether to apply the ban out of the area it was initiated.

“We’ve heard of people who were barred in Armidale and went to a bucks party at Coffs Harbour and were told if you’re barred from there, you’re barred from here,” he said

Any new premises looking to join the Lower Clarence Liquor Accord can email Mr Durrington at .