Section 11 Summary Offences Act – Possession of Liquor by Minors


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Section 11 of the Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW) is the criminal offence of Possession of Liquor by Minors and is stated below.

If you would like an experienced criminal lawyer to help you achieve an outstanding outcome in your Summary Offences Act case, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881 for a free first appointment.

We have a proven track record in representing clients in Summary Offences Act cases and ensuring that you don’t get a criminal record or harsh punishment.

The Legislation

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.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Choosing the right legal team to defend your reputation and interests can be a difficult process.

However, it is always important to look at a firm’s experience and results when making this decision.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have extensive experience defending and winning some of the most complex criminal matters – so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.

Our criminal law specialists will take the time in every case to carefully scrutinise all the evidence in order to identify problems with the prosecution case at an early stage in the proceedings.

Where issues are found, our lawyers will write to the prosecution asking to have the charges dropped on this basis – often sparing our clients the considerable time and expense associated with defended hearings.

However, should your matter proceed to court, our senior lawyers will represent you and present a strong defence case to maximise your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’

Our senior lawyers are highly skilled advocates who have been recognised for their expert knowledge of the criminal law, as well as their ability to obtain excellent results in difficult cases.

We can assist you in avoiding the harsh penalties imposed by the law if you simply wish to plead guilty – in these cases, our experienced advocates can prepare and present compelling sentencing submissions which focus on any positive factors of your case.

For the best defence in your case, get the experts on your side today. Call us now on
(02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference
with our criminal law specialists.