Registering your party

Letting the police know of your party beforehand could be helpful if something goes wrong. The police can:

  • Help remove gatecrashers.
  • Tell you of relevant complaints on the phone instead of coming to the party.
  • Tell your neighbours that you have notified the police and the party’s duration.
  • Drive by to make sure everything is okay.


You can notify the police by:

  • Completing a Party Smart registration form and submitting it to your local police station. You should register the party at least 1 week in advance.


The Party Smart registration form is downloadable from the Northern Territory Police website or you can get one from your local Police Station.

Remember to tell the Police if the party gets postponed, relocated or cancelled.


At a party in a private house, it is not an offence for someone under 18 to drink alcohol or for an adult to serve alcohol to a minor but a responsible adult should serve it to minimise the risk of over consumption.

However, it is illegal to sell the alcohol to a minor or require payment as a condition of attending the party.If you are intending on serving alcohol to guests under 18, it would be wise to let their parent/guardians know that there will be alcohol at the party and have a responsible adult serving the alcohol, as your parents/guardians can be sued for a breach of duty if something goes wrong. If you’re having a party at a venue other than your home, it is best to check with the police whether that venue can be classified as private premises.

It is illegal to supply alcohol to, or obtain alcohol from a pub or liquor store for anyone under 18. This applies even if you’re under 18!

It is also illegal for someone under 18 to consume alcohol:

  • at a licensed premises such as a pub, club or restaurant (unless you are with your parent/guardian and it is part of your meal); or
  • in any public place or unoccupied land, unless they are with a parent or guardian.

Medical Emergencies

If someone has passed out from taking drugs or having too much to drink, or if there is another medical emergency, you should call the ambulance on 000.

In the case of a drug overdose, and you don’t know whether the amount taken was damaging, you can ring Poisons Information on 131 126, anytime and anywhere in Australia for advice. Be aware that it takes a while for the symptoms of an overdose to appear, so even if the person appears to be all right, get help and advice.

When the ambulance arrives, you should tell them:

  • how much the person has had to drink; and
  • what substances they have taken.


The ambulance officers do not have to call the police unless:

  • the ambulance officers are at risk of danger;
  • someone dies;
  • you request that the police attend; or
  • there are child protection issues.

Noise Regulation

Keep noise to a minimum, especially after midnight. ’Undue’ noise made after 12am on any day can be reported to police, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Noise is the most common reason police are called to a party. What defines ‘undue’ noise is left up to the police, however things such as how much interference the noise is causing neighbours, time, location and volume will be important in determining whether the noise is excessive.

This does not limit when you can use such devices, but you must ensure that the volume is low enough not to interfere with your neighbours.

If your party is judged to be creating ‘undue noise’, then the police can order a noise abatement direction to stop the noise and you may even be liable for a fine of up to $2,000 if you do not stop the noise within 10 minutes of receiving the noise abatement order.

Injuries and Damage to Property

Having a party is a lot of responsibility – you owe all your guests a duty of care, so make sure items that can injure your guests are set aside. If your guest is injured, they may be able to sue either you or your parents/guardian for negligence.

It is also good to lock away items that are valuable, like LCD televisions or even mobile phones. Also, if one of your guests damages property (that is, outside your premises), then they will be liable under the law – regardless of how old they are.

If however, it is found that they acted this way because of you or your parent’s breach of duty of care (eg. If you supplied alcohol to them) then you and your parents could be held responsible.

For more information, see Law Topic: Being Sued


Planning is extremely important in having a successful party. Here are some common problems that arise at parties and remedies that can solve them:

Gatecrashers and unwelcome guests

  • The police may be able to provide you with a poster that signifies that this is a police-registered party.
  • If it is possible, get some kind of security to prevent gatecrashers coming in.
  • Organise the venue so that there are only a small number of entrances and exits into the party.
  • Don’t send invitations via avenues where uninvited people can have easy access to, such as Facebook or SMS.
  • Don’t send open invitations and keep a guest list.
  • Be sure to specify the start and finish times on your invitation.
  • Have adult supervision at the venue that is proportionate to the guests you have invited.



  • Decide early on whether the party will consume alcohol or not. Specify this clearly to your guests.
  • Have plenty of food available, as food slows down alcohol absorption in the body. Stay clear of salty foods – which make people thirstier.
  • If you decide to have alcohol, make sure adequate non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic drinks are available.
  • Don’t have BYO and have one area serving all the alcohol. Make sure the area is run by a responsible adult.
  • Plan how your guests will leave your party. P plates cannot drive whilst intoxicated (their BAC is 0). Try to organise public transport, parent pickups, sleepovers or for someone who has not taken alcohol to carpool.


For more tips on party planning visit:


This page last updated September 2009



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