Section 11 Summary Offences Act – Possession of Liquor by Minors


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The Legislation

Section 11 of the Summary Offences Act 1998 (NSW) is the criminal offence of Possession of Liquor by Minors and is stated below.

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11 Possession of liquor by minors

(1) A person under the age of 18 years is guilty of an offence if the person possesses or consumes any liquor in a public place, unless the person establishes that:
(a) the person was under the supervision of a responsible adult, or
(b) the person had a reasonable excuse for possessing or consuming the liquor.
Maximum penalty: $20.

(2) A police officer may seize liquor in the possession of a person in a public place, if the officer suspects, on reasonable grounds, that:
(a) the person is under the age of 18 years, and
(b) the person is not under the supervision of a responsible adult, and
(c) the person does not have a reasonable excuse for possessing the liquor.

(3) Liquor seized under this section is forfeited to the Crown.

(4) Liquor may be seized under this section from a person’s possession even though the person is under the age of criminal responsibility.

(5) A person may not be arrested for an offence under subsection (1), except so far as may be necessary for the purpose of the administration of a caution by a police officer in relation to such an offence.

(5A) A police officer who reasonably suspects that a person has committed an offence under subsection (1) may require that person:
(a) to state his or her full name and residential address, and
(b) to produce then, or at a police station within a reasonable time, documentary evidence that might reasonably be accepted as applying to the person and as proving that the person is at least 18 years of age.

(5B) A person the subject of a requirement under subsection (5A) must not:
(a) refuse to state his or her full name and residential address, or
(b) state a false name or residential address, or
(c) without reasonable excuse, refuse or fail to produce evidence of age as referred to in subsection (5A) (b).
Maximum penalty: $20.

(6) The regulations may make provision for or with respect to:
(a) the procedure to be followed as regards the seizure of liquor under this section and the procedure to be followed after its seizure, and
(b) without limiting paragraph (a), prescribing the circumstances in which, and the procedure by which, liquor seized under this section is to be returned, and
(c) prescribing circumstances in which the other provisions of this section do not apply.

(7) In this section:”liquor” has the same meaning as in the Liquor Act 2007, and includes any container containing liquor.
Section 29 of the Act provides that a police officer can issue a $20 infringement notice for this offence, rather than issue a court attendance notice.

This means that the person does not have to attend court.

However, he or she can still elect to dispute the infringement notice by filling in the back and requesting a court date.