If you’re like me, one of six children, then you probably think that your parents were so much stricter with the older children then they were with your younger siblings. This, I think, comes down to a couple of things:
- parents are sick of having the same arguments about the same things around the same age with each of their children; and
- the parenting process has exhausted them to the point that red wine is bought in bulk rather than carefully selected from the vintage section.
But before those lucky parents start celebrating their last trip to Airlie Beach to drop off their dearly beloved youngest child and adopt a laissez faire style of parenting, you might want to have a civil conversation with your child about schoolies.
Here are some helpful conversation starters:
- I will not be buying you and your friends alcohol because it is now an offence to “irresponsibly” supply liquor to a minor in a private place.
Whether the supply is irresponsible depends on whether the adult is intoxicated, the age of the minor, if the minor is consuming liquor supplied with food, the quantity of liquor supplied and the period over which it is consumed.
- The police now have the power to enter a private place or search a vehicle if they reasonably suspect that a person has not responsibly supplied liquor to a minor and can seize the opened or unopened liquor containers… and I refuse to be caught on camera and assumed to be a “toolie” by Today Tonight.
The law acknowledges that minors may consume alcohol in a controlled environment; however it seeks to encourage the responsible supervision of the minor in a private place. As many parents often provide their children with alcohol during schoolies week, it is often consumed without adult supervision.
- Possession is nine tenths of the law!
If you’re children are staying in a unit with others who might be taking drugs and police enter and discover the drugs then all occupants can be charged with possession. Possession does not mean ownership and there can be a number of people in possession of the same drug.
- If a policeman stops you and asks you to identify yourself… remember you’re not James Dean, tell them your name, address and date of birth.
The police can:
- ask you to identify yourself
- stop you on the street and ask you questions
- take drunk people home or detain them at the police station until they are no longer intoxicated
- fine you $247 on the spot if you are under 18 and drinking in a public place
- fine you $247 on the spot if you are under 18 and “holding a drink for your friend” in a public place
- stop and search you, your car or belongings, but only if you agree, are under arrest or in custody, have a search warrant, suspect on reasonable grounds that you have a prohibited drug
- use reasonable force to arrest you
For more information about liquor laws visit www.olgr.qld.gov.au.