Benalla police are reminding the community that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors without parental consent.MONIQUE FREER January 29, 2014 11:47am
Tough stance: Benalla police Leading Senior Constable Mark Keenan and Leading Senior Constable Richard Barrow are reminding the community that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors without parental consent.
Benalla police will be enforcing changes to the law that prohibits the provision of alcohol to minors without parental consent.
Benalla police Leading Senior Constable Richard Barrow said it was illegal to give alcohol to a person under the age of 18 without permission from their parents.
‘‘You’ve either got to have a parent or guardian there or they’ve had to have given written or oral consent, and the onus is back on them — not for police — to prove that they actually got that consent,’’ he said.
Prior to 2011 there were no penalties within the the Liquor Control Reform Act in relation to the supply of liquor to a minor on private property.
‘‘Up until November 2011, providing it was on private property, you weren’t committing an offence,’’ Benalla police Leading Senior Constable Mark Keenan said.
‘‘Ideally we are not going to be encountering this problem, and by making people aware we feel that it’s going to minimise the chances of us needing to enforce the law.’’
The penalties for providing alcohol to a minor without appropriate consent include either a penalty notice or a summons to court.
Ldg Sen Con Barrow said minors were often susceptible to binge drinking, which posed many safety concerns.
‘‘It relates to street crime, it relates to damage or assaults and then there’s health issues as well, especially if they binge drink,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a safety issue for the actual individual. The issue of underage drinkers is that they’re not able to control it properly, they lose control of mainly their ability to reason and their ability to recognise danger.
‘‘We’ve had quite a few cases of young teenagers passing out, becoming unconscious and having to be taken to hospital with health issues.’’
Benalla police hope that by educating adults and parents about the change of laws they can get them to reconsider the example they set for their children.
‘‘We are always addressing the youth to try and stop them from doing that, but we really need to address the adults as well and get them to set a better example,’’ Ldg Sen Const Barrow said.
‘‘Even though they like to seem that they’re radical or different to their parents, in the long run children will always follow. Parents are their role models.’’
The Infringement Notice penalty for the supply of alcohol in a private residence to an underage person without appropriate consent is $866.
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