Young people and alcohol

Supply of liquor to minors: The laws changed on 18 December 2017 to introduce new penalties for people who illegally supply alcohol to anyone under 18. Read more on the Consumer and Business Services website

People choose to drink for lots of reasons. For many young people, it’s just to relax with friends and enjoy life. However, alcohol is also the most misused drug in Australia.

The Young People and Alcohol (PDF 308KB) fact sheet provides information about alcohol, tips for young people who choose to drink, and explains what can happen when alcohol and drugs are mixed and what to do in an emergency.

Planning a party

Good planning can help make sure that your party is hassle free. If you’re a young person and live with your family, ask your parents or another adult to help you plan. They will have some good ideas for keeping you and your friends safe.

Tips for a hassle free party include:

  • don’t use social media or texts to send out invites. You don’t want your invitation going viral. Instead, print invitations and include an RSVP.
  • tell guests that entry is by invitation only.
  • let everyone know the finish time and start winding the party up about an hour before.
  • ask people to plan how they will get home – taxi or parent pick up.
  • provide food.
  • offer a range of drinks and have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and water available.
  • ask a responsible person who is not partying to be bartender.
  • don't top up people’s glasses. Make sure everyone can be aware of how much they are drinking.
  • have an action plan in case something goes wrong.
  • have a responsible adult act as security.
  • provide a safe chill-out area which is supervised by someone trustworthy.

When planning a party where alcohol will be available there are some legal things you will need to consider. Visit the Alcohol laws section for more information.

Safer celebrations: Plan a safer party (PDF 60KB)

Attending a party

The best thing you can do when going to a party is to plan ahead. Here are some tips to help:

  • ask the host before you bring anyone extra with you
  • plan how you will get home safely
  • have a buddy for the evening and look after each other
  • pace your drinking
  • have non-alcoholic refreshers between alcoholic drinks
  • eat before and during the party
  • set yourself a drinking limit before the party
  • stop when you've had enough
  • watch your drinks and always get your own
  • think about how you can use your mobile or other strategies if you feel bullied or uncomfortable
  • if you don’t want to drink, but are concerned about pressure from other party goers, have a response already thought out
  • always carry condoms
  • don't pressure or coerce anyone into being sexual with you. Remember only yes means yes
  • be aware of the legal issues associated with your alcohol use.


Young people look forward to end-of-school celebrations and well-planned events can be fun and safe. So plan ahead, stick to well-organised events and make sure the experience is memorable for all the right reasons.

  • set a limit on how much alcohol you drink
  • go to well-organised activities
  • look after yourself, your friends and the place you are staying
  • be responsible for your own safety and the safety of your friends
  • enjoy the experience and stay safe!

Plan ahead for hassle-free schoolies celebrations:

  • book accommodation in advance - sleeping in a car or on the beach isn't safe, comfortable or fun
  • talk about your plans with adults in your family
  • pack supplies of all the things you might need (eg sunscreen, snacks, some home comforts)
  • keep some emergency money
  • don't walk around on your own at night
  • make sure your friends know where you are
  • travel with people you know and trust
  • don’t get into a car with a driver who has been drinking or using drugs.

The Encounter Youth Schoolies Festival website has some good local tips for staying safe.


Schoolies Week is a great time to meet new people. Here are some tips to keep you and your friends safe:

  • keep an eye on your friends
  • make sure your friends know where you are and don't leave with people you don't know
  • if you want to have sex, be prepared so you can have safe sex
  • only yes means yes. Say no to sex if it’s not what you want or if you are feeling uncomfortable about the situation
  • don't pressure, coerce or force anyone into being sexual with you.

Alcohol and schoolies

Safe drinking can sometimes mean not drinking alcohol at all. It’s great if you can support your friends who choose not to drink. They can do the same for you.

But, if you are going to drink, the reduce the risk section will give you some tips on how you can stay safe.