Director’s obligations under Liquor Act laws

New obligations under the Liquor Act 2010 (ACT) (‘the Act’) came into force as of 1 June 2012. The new obligations place an onus on liquor license holders to hold Responsible Service of Alcohol (‘RSA’) certificates with significant penalties for non-compliance.

Section 100(1) of the Act provides that a licensee commits an offence if the person supplies liquor at licensed premises without an RSA certificate. In this context, a ‘licensee’ will include those persons listed on the liquor license, but should not extend to those directors of a company not listed and not involved in the supply of liquor to patrons. The term ‘supply of liquor’ will however include having alcohol on the premises for sale, so it is not a defence that individuals listed on the liquor license may never practically work behind a bar or serve patrons. Failure to comply with this section can attract a penalty of $5,500. Section 100(3) also provides that the penalty of $5,500 can be imposed on the licensee if an employee without an RSA certificate is engaged to supply alcohol to patrons.

Section 103 of the Act provides that a licensee can also face a $2,200 penalty for failure to keep a copy of RSA certificate of each individual noted on the license and each person employed to supply liquor. This offence is one of strict liability, meaning that elements of fault or recklessness are not necessary to attract the penalty. In practical terms, this means that the onus is on the licensees to ensure employees provide their RSA certificates to the venue’s management or else the licensee is open to risk of attracting liability.

Contact Ian Meagher for more information.