Licensees and consumers are spoilt for craft beer options in the current market.
New flavours, artistic packaging, trendy producer names, varied production techniques and the small batch philosophy are the focus of attention.
However, another feature is that of the alcohol content.
Many of them are very high strength. Several on the market at the moment in WA are around 9% ABV.
Whilst licensees and staff are not required to keep tabs on the actual level of alcohol consumed by patrons at their premises, or likely to be consumed when taken-away, licensees and staff are obliged to prevent drunkenness on their premises and not sell or supply liquor in a manner likely to cause harm.
Licensees and staff do need to monitor patron consumption and behaviour to ensure compliance with RSA obligations and proper management of risks.
It is recommended licensees and staff make themselves aware of the ABV of products and be ever vigilant when selling and supplying high strength drinks.
The licensing authority has issued policies in the past relating to the ABV of drinks.
A licensee, a person who holds a position of authority in a licensee company, or an approved manager (restricted or unrestricted), who is convicted of an offence, in any jurisdiction (including traffic offences), must inform the licensing authority within 14 days of being convicted.
Various sanctions can be applied for non- compliance.
There are 197 prohibition orders currently in effect in Western Australia. Most are in respect of people living in the metropolitan area.
There is a great deal of variation between the different orders. The current list can be accessed here.
It is an offence for a responsible person (in relation to licensed premises), to knowingly permit entry to someone the subject of a prohibition order.
With the increasing trend in liquor delivery, licensees are reminded of the following obligations:
The licensing authority recently amended several of its policies, including those relating to the following:
Current published policies can be accessed here.
The Commissioner of Police brought a section 95 complaint against the licensee of Blue to the Bone (and Voodoo Lounge) nightclub in Northbridge in response to an alleged assault incident.
By way of remedy/penalty Police had sought a monetary fine as well as several special conditions to be imposed on the licence which would have been burdensome for the licensee and costly to its business.
The Liquor Commission, in deciding the matter after an oral hearing, upheld the Police complaint but only imposed a monetary fine.
Amongst other things, the Commission said that it “had regard to the fact the contravention is based on a single event and there is no evidence before the Commission of a continuing pattern of mismanagement”.
A copy of the full decision can be accessed here.