Anyone under the age of 18 years is considered a minor.
The legal drinking age in Victoria is 18 years. It's illegal for any person to supply alcohol to a minor on licensed premises. It's also illegal for a minor to be on licensed premises to purchase, receive or consume alcohol.
Minors and licensed premises
Minors are not permitted to drink alcohol on licensed premises under any circumstances.
Depending on the situation, a minor may be allowed on licensed premises.
A minor may be on licensed premises if they are in the company of a responsible adult.
A responsible adult is defined as a person who is 18 years or older and is:
- the minor's parent, step-parent, guardian, grandparent, or
- the minor's spouse who is over the age of 18 years, or
- a person who is acting in place of a parent and who could reasonably be expected to exercise responsible supervision of the minor – for example, a sporting coach.
An unaccompanied minor cannot be on licensed premises unless:
- there is a condition allowing them to be on the licence (for example, a junior sports club)
- it holds a restaurant and cafe licence (until 11pm)
- it holds an on-premises licence with restaurant conditions (until 11pm)
Other circumstances that permit minors on licensed premises are if the minor is:
- having a meal, or
- is a resident of the premises if accommodation is supplied, or
- employed by the licensee but not involved in the supply of alcohol, or
- completing a Liquor Control Victoria (LCV) approved training program in hospitality.
A licensee must not sell alcohol to a customer if they suspect the customer will give the alcohol to a minor. This is called secondary supply.
Use this checklist as a training tool and go through it with staff to ensure you are on top of your obligations when it comes to minors.
Minors selling and supplying alcohol
A minor cannot be involved in the supply of alcohol, except if they are part of a LCV approved training program.
A minor can be employed on licensed premises to undertake duties that are not associated with the supply of liquor. These duties may include:
- preparing food
- taking orders for anything other than alcohol (a minor cannot take combined orders of food and alcohol)
- taking payment for anything other than alcohol
- clearing vessels (for example glassware, or bottles, cans etc) used for alcohol that are empty. Whether glassware that has been used for alcohol is empty is a matter of common sense. If you are unsure, staff other than minors should perform this duty.
The above list of duties is intended to be instructive only and will not cover all duties that a minor may perform on a licensed premises.
A minor can also carry packaged liquor for consumption off the premises to a person over 18 years of age, for example, a staff member who is a minor can assist carrying purchased alcohol to a customer's car. This particular duty is permitted under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.
Duties that a minor cannot perform include:
- selling alcohol through a check-out
- serving alcohol from a bar or to/at a customer’s table
- taking orders for alcohol from a bar or at a customer’s table, including when clearing empty vessels from a table
- clearing vessels that have alcohol in them
- stocking fridges or shelves with alcohol for display to a customer.
A minor can perform logistical duties relating to the movement of sealed alcohol that is not visible to customers. This means a minor can, for example, stock shelves in storage rooms with sealed alcohol. If minors are performing this or similar duties you should ensure they are appropriately supervised by adult staff members.
Reviewed 02 April 2023