Alcohol and the law

The sale and supply of alcohol in Western Australia is governed by the Liquor Control Act 1988 (as amended). This Act is administered by the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor. They are responsible for issuing liquor licences and can provide information on the various types of licences, probity issues and costs of licences.

The purpose of the Liquor Control Act (1988) is primarily to regulate the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol, and to minimise harm or ill-health caused to people due to the use of alcohol.

Under-age drinking on licensed premises

It is illegal for anyone under 18 to consume alcohol on licensed premises (e.g. pubs, nightclubs) or possess or bring alcohol on to licensed premises.

It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 years to enter or remain on licensed premises except under specific circumstances outlined in the Liquor Control Act 1988.

PENALTY:
$200 infringement or maximum $2000 fine

It is illegal to sell or supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 years on licensed premises.
PENALTY:

  • Licensee or Manager: $1,000 infringement or maximum $10,000 fine
  • Employee: $400 infringement or maximum $4,000 fine
  • Any other person: $200 infringement or maximum $2,000 fine

Proof of age

There are only three acceptable forms of photo ID (Section 126(2) LCA):

  • current Australian Driver's Licence with photograph
  • current passport
  • current Western Australian Proof of age card

Refusing service of alcohol


It is an offence for employers or employees of licensed premises to sell or supply alcohol to a drunken person.

PENALTY:

  • Licensee or Manager: $1000 infringement or maximum $10,000 fine
  • Employee: $400 infringement or maximum $4,000 fine
  • Any other person: $200 infringement or maximum $2,000 fine

Entry into licensed premises may be refused for reasons such as drunkenness, disorderly behaviour, unacceptable dress, false or insufficient photo identification, or being under-age.

Drinking on unlicensed premises

It is illegal for any person to consume alcohol on unlicensed premises (e.g. a council hall) without the consent of the owner or authority in control of those premises.

Sale of alcohol

It is illegal to sell alcohol anywhere without first obtaining an Occasional Licence to license the premises (e.g. at a function or party). To apply for an Occasional Licence contact the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor on 9425 1888.

Drinking in a public place

It is an offence in Western Australia for persons of any age to drink in public, such as on the street, park or beach.

PENALTY:
$200 infringement or maximum $2000 fine.

Possession of alcohol

It is an offence for juveniles to possess liquor in a public place

PENALTY:
$200 infringement or maximum $2000 fine.

Drinking and driving

Trading hours of licensed premises

All licensed premises in Western Australia have trading hours that are specified by the Liquor Control Act (1988). It is illegal for pubs and clubs to sell and serve alcohol outside their permitted trading hours. Premises may apply for Extended Trading Permits at the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor website.

Harm minimisation

The Harm Minimisation Policy is available at the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor website