Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) NSW

Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Laws NSW

Whether you’re a staff member or a business owner, in NSW you need to show responsible service of alcohol and comply with NSW laws regarding the sales, services, supply and the promotion of alcohol.

Every alcohol licensee and staff member needs to follow the responsible service of alcohol (RSA) guidelines based on the Liquor Act of 2007. The Liquor Act also helps identify what types of promotions for liquor are acceptable and which are not.

Why are there liquor laws in NSW?

The main objectives for the Liquor Act are as follows:

  • To help regulate and control the sales, supply and the consumption of alcohol in such a way that is doesn’t bring a negative effect to the community.
  • To promote the development of various related industries such as tourism, entertainment and hospitality.
  • To assist in encouraging a more balanced development in the interest of the public and the liquor industry.

The Liquor Act helps in controlling when, where and how the liquor should be sold on licensed premises, as well as establish who can sell it and who can consume it. It also helps in regulating the licensing conditions and promoting the responsible service of alcohol.

Penalties for disregarding the Liquor Act

Individuals who do not follow the Liquor Act and sell alcohol in an irresponsible manner will have to face a fine or other forms of penalties. The penalties are applicable to both liquor licensees and staff members.

Laws about responsible service of alcohol and intoxication

According to the NSW Liquor laws, all licensees and staff members need to follow the steps below to avoid any kind of penalties:

  • They have to refuse any more drinks to individuals already intoxicated
  • They will have to ask the intoxicated person to leave the premises
  • They will call the local police if the intoxicated person refuses to leave
  • They should prevent anyone getting intoxicated.

According to the Liquor Act, a person is intoxicated if their speech, coordination or behaviour is affected, and these factors are contributed to the affect of too much alcohol consumption.

If an intoxicated person is found on a premises, the licensees would then need to prove to the local authorities that the intoxicated person did not consume alcohol on their premises. For those who are not able to do so, they could be heavily fined up to $11000.

When is a person considered intoxicated?

In 2008, a new set of alcohol guidelines were introduced in NSW which helped liquor licensees and staff members determine whether an individual was considered intoxicated or not. The aim of these new guidelines was to support the old Liquor Act 2007 and included recommendations for harm minimisation and abuse caused by liquor consumption. The Act also helped in encouraging a more responsible attitude regarding the practice of sales, promotion, supply, services and the consumption of alcohol.

If you run your own business or you’re a staff member of a business that serves or sells alcohol, then these Intoxication Guidelines can help you.

Responsible service of alcohol – Sale to minors

It should be clear that any kind of sale, services or supply of alcohol to a person who is below 18 years of age is an offence. Licensees and/or the minor face a heavy fine if caught selling or buying liquor.

This may also lead to imprisonment of individuals found selling alcohol to minors.

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