Parents Supplying Teens with Alcohol under NSW Laws

An article on Illawarra Mercury’s website recently discussed the NSW law which allows parents to supply alcohol to their children and supply alcohol to the children’s friends with their parent’s permission.

Under the current law in the state, parents can provide alcohol to the kids and authorise other adults to give their children alcohol.

A NSW mother, Fiona Morgan speaks about the importance of weighing the issue, even though she would not give alcohol to her son Adam, her 15 year old son however she did agree with the law in principle.

She went on to explain in the post on

1“If it comes through parents and permission is being provided, you know what and how much they’re drinking,” she said.

“If not, kids will get alcohol elsewhere and it won’t be in a controlled environment, and that’s when it gets dangerous.”

The NSW Legislative Committee on Social Policy is conducting an inquiry into the appropriateness of laws relating to provision of alcohol to minors, with the hot-button issue being the ability of parents to either directly supply, or allow another adult to supply, their children with alcohol.

Lance Barrie, research manager at the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Health Initiatives, said the issue of “secondary supply” was one of the biggest problems around minors and alcohol.

“In NSW, there is no limit on the amount of alcohol that can be supplied,” he said.

“NSW has better laws than some other states but they could definitely be tightened up.”

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According to the National Health and Medical Research Council it is best that parents delay drinking among their teens for as long as possible for their health and safety, especially because of its effect on their developing brains and nervous system.

Some of the worst case scenarios that can result from teen drinking is binge drinking, drink driving and unsafe sex which is why abstinence is best for teenagers. Not only are teens at risk of teenage pregnancy, contracting STDs, being involved in drink driving crashes and other violence but they are also damaging their health which could have long term consequences.

How does this NSW law regarding teenage drinking affect RSA Staff?

The fact of the matter is that anyone employed in a licenced venue should not be serving alcohol to minors and may be at risk of receiving a fine of up to $11,000 and possible jail time for breaking this law.

A person must not obtain liquor from licensed premises on behalf of a minor unless the person is the parent or guardian of the minor. Anyone who fails to adhere to this law may receive an $11,000 fine or 12 months imprisonment (or both). They are also at risk of receiving an on-the-spot fine of $1,100.

Parents, while it’s difficult to prevent teenagers from experimenting with alcohol, you can encourage sensible drinking habits, especially if you are going provide them the alcohol.