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Supplying liquor to a person who makes an off-premises request

The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (the Act) sets out responsibilities for licensees who supply packaged alcohol in response to ‘off-premises’ (online, email, telephone or electronic) requests, including takeaway and home-delivered meals.

This page sets out those responsibilities.

The following licences allow for off-premises requests:

  • general and late night (general)
  • restaurant and cafe
  • full club
  • packaged liquor and late night (packaged liquor)
  • producer's
  • remote seller's packaged liquor
  • renewable limited (if a licence authorises ‘off-premises’ supply).

Depending on your licence, additional rules on how you may supply alcohol via off-premises request may exist.

Notify us before supplying off-premises requests

Licensees holding any of the above licences (except for remote seller's packaged liquor and renewable limited licences) must notify Liquor Control Victoria (LCV) before supplying alcohol to a person making an off-premises request. You are only required to notify LCV once before supplying alcohol via off-premises requests.

To notify LCV of your intent to supply (or continue to supply) alcohol via off-premises requests, follow the below steps.

Restrictions on off-premises supply

Some off-premises supply restrictions apply to certain licence types.

  • full club licence – off-premises supply can only be made to a club member
  • producer’s licence – only the producer’s own product can be supplied
  • restaurant and cafe licence – packaged alcohol can only be supplied with a takeaway or delivered meal prepared on the licensed premises. Supplied packaged liquor must not be more than:
    • 750ml of wine, or
    • six (6) containers of no more than 375ml per container for beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits.
  • renewable limited licence – a condition authorising off-premises supply must be included as a specific licence condition.

Specific licence conditions take precedence over the advice provided above.

Delivery requirements

Section 18C of the Act mandates the following delivery requirements for off-premises requests.

Display notices and licence number

Licensees must display a valid liquor licence number and the following warning on the website, online platform or interface where liquor orders are placed, including on promotional or advertising material.

Warning

Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $23,000) and for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $900).
 

Customer information

As a licensee, you must ask customers for specific information when they place an order. This information varies for different types of orders. 
All new customers must confirm with you that they are at least 18 years old.

Existing customers who are 18 and over must provide instructions on where to leave the order if they’re not at the address at the delivery time. This does not apply to same day delivery, which needs to be delivered to a person.

If the order is a gift, you must confirm that the customer placing the order and the person receiving the gift are 18 or over. The customer needs to provide the name and address of the gift recipient. 

Instructions for delivery people 

Licensees must provide written instructions to each delivery driver outlining the following. These requirements are applicable to all licence types allowing off-premises requests:

  • alcohol can only be delivered before 11pm
  • same day deliveries must not be left unattended
  • each recipient must be 18 or over
  • first time orders – only deliver to the person who placed the order. Check their ID proving their identity and confirming they are 18 or over
  • gift orders – check the ID of the person receiving the order, confirming they are 18 or over.

Licensees should provide written instructions to each delivery driver outlining what to do when a delivery cannot be completed.

The conditions in section 18C of the Act are licence conditions. The section sets out how alcohol must be supplied for off-premises requests.

Under section 18C, licensees must have procedures in place to inform delivery drivers of what they must do to deliver alcohol responsibly. Failure to comply with a licence condition is an offence under the Act and carries a maximum penalty of 60 penalty units (more than $10,000).

A breach of a licence condition is also grounds for disciplinary action under section 90 of the Act.

The labels included in the template below can be attached to same day deliveries to help drivers meet their delivery obligations.

Label for same day deliveries
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Obligation to report failed deliveries

On 21 September 2022, the Minister issued conditions for licensees delivering packaged liquor. Licensees must record each failed alcohol delivery and report it to LCV.

The record of failed delivery must include one of the following reasons for refusal:

  • the recipient was a minor
  • in the case of same day orders, the delivery address was unattended
  • the person accepting delivery of the order could not produce an acceptable form of identification
  • in the case of a gift, the recipient or another person was not present at the delivery address or could not show an acceptable form of identification
  • the recipient was intoxicated, or there was a substantial risk that they were intoxicated.

Licensees must also record:

  • the date and time of each failed delivery
  • the postcode of the location where the refusal occurred
  • the total number of successful deliveries made during the relevant period.

Licensees must supply this data to LCV at contact@liquor.vic.gov.au by 30 July each year.

If you have any failed deliveries, you must track and report your deliveries using the template below.

Failed packaged liquor delivery reporting template
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Refuse delivery to an intoxicated person

It is an offence under the Act for a person to deliver an online alcohol order (or any other type of off-premises request) if:

  • the recipient is intoxicated, or
  • there is a substantial risk that the recipient is intoxicated.

A person is in a state of intoxication if their speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably affected, and there are reasonable grounds for believing that this is the result of alcohol consumption.

LCV has issued Intoxication Guidelines to help licensees and their employees decide whether a person is intoxicated.

Intoxication guidelines
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How to decide whether to refuse delivery because of intoxication

A licensee should ensure they have procedures in place to identify when to refuse delivery. This must include refusing delivery to a customer showing signs of intoxication. Signs of intoxication can include a customer: 

  • being loud and boisterous
  • swaying or rambling when speaking
  • using offensive language
  • refusing to comply with ID verification requirements, or
  • having difficulty signing for the delivery.

The Intoxication Guidelines above include examples of the signs of intoxication.

In the written instructions to delivery drivers, you may also include signs that customers may exhibit due to alcohol consumption. This may include the delivery person considering:

  • whether the customer smells of alcohol
  • comments made by the customer indicating their current level of intoxication
  • the surroundings (for example, is there a party at the delivery address where the customer may have consumed alcohol before accepting delivery).

Licensees or delivery drivers do not need to be sure that a customer is intoxicated to refuse delivery. For example, if it is likely that a customer is intoxicated because they are showing signs of intoxication, delivery should be refused.

If a delivery is completed to a customer who is intoxicated or likely intoxicated, as a licensee, you may be liable for a maximum penalty of 120 penalty units (more than $20,000).

Under section 119A of the Act, it is also an offence for a person to knowingly deliver alcohol to someone under 18. This offence carries a maximum penalty of 120 penalty units (more than $23,000).

Checklist

The following checklist outlines the actions to assist you in meeting your obligations when supplying alcohol in response to off-premises requests.

Alcohol delivery checklist
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The following logsheet may be used to inform your delivery drivers of their obligations. It can be completed by the delivery driver when they come to collect the alcohol delivery order from your store or venue.

Alcohol delivery order logsheet
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Updated