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The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 governs alcohol laws in Victoria. Generally it is illegal for a minor (persons under 18 years old) to purchase, receive, possess or consume alcohol until they are 18 years old. It is an offence to supply alcohol to a minor or to send a minor to obtain alcohol. Teenage parties and the law The following apply where there are minors consuming alcohol at a party: At your private residence currently, it is legal for a minor to consume alcohol in your private residence or a friends private residence. Subject to the circumstances the common law is likely to impose a duty of care in circumstances where any person over the age of 18 is hosting or supervising a teenage party. On licenced premises for example a hotel or club that serves alcohol it is an offence for a person under 18 to consume alcohol on licenced premises unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse (who is over 18 years old) having a meal or staying the night at the licenced premises. If these laws are not complied with the licensee will be guilty of an offence and subject to a fine of up to $7,328.40. In public places such as streets, hired halls or parks a minor cannot consume alcohol anywhere in a public place and if detected may be charged with underage drinking. New alcohol laws The Victorian Government has passed the Liquor Control Reform Amendment Act 2011 which makes it an offence for a person to supply alcohol to a minor in a private home without the consent of the parent, guardian or spouse (if they are over 18 years) of that minor. The new law is silent on how consent may be given. While this means that consent may be given either orally or in writing, it may be more prudent to obtain consent in writing in order to avoid any uncertainty or doubt as the consequences of a breach are severe. For example a signed note from a parent consenting to that parents child consuming alcohol will be sufficient. A person who supplies alcohol to a minor without a parent, guardian or spouses (over 18 years) consent are subject to the same penalty faced by licensees who supply alcohol to minors in licensed venues, being a maximum fine of $7,328.40. If in doubt as to whether consent has been given, it is better not to supply alcohol to a minor. These laws will come into force no later than 1 February 2012. Party Safe If you are planning to host a teenage party with alcohol you may register your party with Victoria Police Partysafe Programme. In order to register download the Partysafe Registration form at http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=9566 and submit the form to your nearest police station. Once registered you will get access to information that will help you minimise the risk of something going wrong at your party, such as intoxicated guests or gatecrashers ruining the party.