The festive season is generally a fun time for everybody involved with regular office parties and other events which often sees an increase in alcohol related offences.  

Many of these offences can be avoided by knowing what to do, and more importantly what not to do.

Hi I’m Casey Isaacs from Caldicott lawyers, and in this video I’m going to share with you the 4 most common offences that occur around the festive season, what the penalties for those offences are, and what you can do to ensure you know your rights, and avoid running into trouble. 

Fail To Cease Loiter

The first common offence during the festive season is ‘Fail to cease loiter’. Where a police officer believes on reasonable grounds that an offence has, or is about to be committed, they can request to move that person or that group to disburse.

Failure to do so can result in a $1,250 fine or imprisonment of 3 months.

Such offence typically occurs out the front of pubs and clubs when levels of intoxication are high.

Before anyone can be charged with the offence of failing to cease loiter Police must make the request that the person or group move away from the vicinity. 

It is important to recognise that a failure to move on or indeed to move on and then return to the site can result in arrest.

Disorderly Behaviour

The second common offence during the festive season is ‘Disorderly behaviour’.

Disorderly behaviour is where you are in a public place and a person engages in offensive language, fights with another or is generally abusive.

A public place is a place to which the public has free access to or alternatively pays money to have access to. 

This includes roads, streets, footpaths and any licensed premises such as a hotel, club or pub. 

If you are found guilty of disorderly behaviour, the result is a fine up to $1,250, or imprisonment of up to 3 months and most likely a criminal conviction.

Fail To Leave A Licensed Premises

The third common offence we see during the festive season is ‘Fail to leave a licensed premises’.

This offence is where a person fails to comply with a request to leave a licensed premises after being requested to do so by an authorised person. 

An authorised person may be security, a responsible person, or Police.

Such a request can be made if persons are under the age of 18 and drinking on the premises, are excessively intoxicated, are supplying or about to supply alcohol to an intoxicated person, or behaving in a disorderly or offensive manner.

If you are found in breach of this request, you can be convicted and fined up to $5,000.

Barring Orders

Another penalty we commonly see during the festive season is the issuing of ‘Barring orders’.

Barring orders can be issued for one or more of these offences and result in a person being banned from a licensed premises. 

These barring orders can often be issued by the venue or the Commissioner of Police. 

When issued by the Commissioner of Police, the order can be for an indefinite period of time and expand all licensed venues in the state.

Summary

If you are charged with any of these offences, it is most likely that a Court attendance would be required, and can risk the imposing of a conviction and substantial penalty…even in the instance of a first offence. 

Alcohol fuelled offences can often lead to more serious charges such as resist arrest and hinder Police and assaults. 

These offences most commonly result in immediate arrest and time being spent in custody.

So if you’re planning to enjoy yourself this festive season, make sure you know your rights, follow all the appropriate laws, and stay safe!

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