Proof of Age
A prescribed person can ask for proof of age whenever a person is either on, or about to enter, a licenced or regulated premises, or when a person is in possession of (or has recently been in possession of) alcohol. [Liquor Licensing Act 1997 (SA) s 115(1)]. There is no requirement for the prescribed person to believe or suspect that the person may be under the age of 18 - the prescribed person can require anyone to present proof of their age in the above circumstances.
This applies to premises included licences premises as well as restaurants, cafes, shops, amusement parlours or arcades, or similar places of public entertainment.
A prescribed person for the purposes of the Act includes:
- a police officer; or
- an inspector; or
- a licensee of a licensed premises; or
- a responsible person (a person responsible for supervising or managing the licensed premises business); or
- a security agent; or
- the occupier or manager, or an employee of an occupier or manger of a restaurant, shop, café, amusement parlour or arcade or similar.
See Liquor Licensing Act 1997 (SA) s 115(3).
The maximum penalty for a failure to adhere to the requirement to produce proof of age is a fine of up to $2 500 or an expiation fee of $210.
Seizure of Proof of Age document
Where a police officer, inspector, security agent, or licensee or responsible person of a licensed premises requests the production of a person's proof of age, and they reasonably believe that the proof of age document is forged, contains misleading information, or that the person who produced the document is not the person identified in the document, they can seize the document [see s 115A]. They cannot, however, seize a person's passport [see s 115A(2)(a)]. Where a person other than a police officer seizes the identification document, they must present it to the police within seven days of the seizure [see s 115A(4)]. A person's whose identification document has been seized must be given certain written information in accordance with the regulations [see s 115A(3); Liquor Licensing (General) Regulations 2012 (SA) reg 18A]. Within 14 days following the seizure, if a person attends at the police station where the document is held, and satisfies a police officer that it is the person's authentic property, then it may be returned. If this does not occur, the police officer may destroy or otherwise dispose of the document [see reg 18A(5)].
Removal from premises if under 18
The police or an employee may use reasonable force to evict a person under 18 years, or who is suspected of being under 18 years, who possesses alcohol or is on the premises to consume alcohol [Liquor Licensing Act 1997 (SA) s 116]. A minor who re-enters the premises within 24 hours of being evicted, or fails to truthfully answer questions faces a maximum fine of $2 500 [s 132].
Removal for disorderly behaviour
The police can also order anyone behaving in a disorderly or offensive manner to leave a place of public entertainment. A person who fails to leave or re- enters within 24 hours may be fined up to $2 500 or imprisoned for up to six months [Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) s 73].
A person with a liquor licence may call the police to arrest anyone who is drunk, behaving in a riotous, indecent, threatening, abusive or insulting manner, or who is fighting [Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) s 74].
Search for weapons
The police have the power to search anyone in, or attempting to enter or leave licensed premises or the car parking area for the premises for weapons by metal detector. See Powers to search for weapons.
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