Bottomless brunches, high teas and general drinks are always popular with the public.  As are happy hours, particularly those that run all afternoon.  However, licensees should exercise caution when offering such promotions.

Even though those kinds of special deals are not expressly prohibited by the liquor legislation in WA, they could potentially be found to be in breach of the legislation and the licensing authority’s Responsible Promotion of Liquor policy.

Licensees are legally obliged to sell and supply liquor in a responsible manner.  Liquor should not be priced or promoted in a manner that could potentially encourage patrons to rapidly, irresponsibly, excessively or impulsively purchase or consume liquor.  Examples of promotions that could possibly be regarded as inappropriate include the following:

  • 1-for-1 drinks
  • Bottomless drink specials
  • “All you can drink” offers
  • Heavily discounted drinks within a limited duration
  • “Ladies’ night” free drinks

 

“Happy hours” are permitted but they must be conducted in a manner that complies with the following:

  • There can only be a maximum of two happy hours per day.
  • Each happy hour may only have a maximum duration of 60 minutes.
  • Happy hours must be at least four hours apart.
  • The latest any happy hour must finish is 7:00pm.

There may be penalties for licensees found to be in breach of their obligation to promote, sell and supply liquor responsibly.  Action can be taken and penalties applied for non-compliance.  For example, the licensing authority has the power to impose conditions on a licence expressly prohibiting certain promotional activities or practices that incentivise irresponsible drinking.