Parties are lots of fun. Meeting up and hanging out with friends can be
a great way to spend a weekend. But things don’t always go according to plan.
Uninvited guests, people getting drunk, and property damage are some of the
things that may go wrong at parties and the consequences aren’t fun. So, if
you are hosting a party there are a number of things you might want to think
about beforehand, including:
The following information applies to law in Queensland. If you are from a different state, make sure you select the correct state under the link 'change state'on the banner above. If you want more information
or legal advice about throwing parties and your rights and responsibilities,
please send us a Lawmail.
Once you decide to have
a party, a good idea is to make a guest list and stick to it. Having people you
don’t know turn up to your party can cause a good time to get out of control.
There are a few ways you can make sure you and your friends don’t have to worry
about people you didn’t invite ruining your night:
- have a single entry point
- no pass-outs
- avoid inviting people online. However if you want to invite people on Facebook or email, make sure the list is controlled by you and private.
It is a good idea to
register your party beforehand with the local police station. If the police are
aware of your party they can:
- help you remove gatecrashers;
- drive by to make sure everything is ok; and
- tell you about any complaints about noise over the phone.
You can notify the
- calling them on 13 14 44
- going to your local police station or
Safe’ form from the website and handing it in at least two weeks before the party to your local police station in person,
by post, fax or email.
Remember to tell the police if the party gets
postponed, relocated or cancelled.
If you’re having a party at licensed premises,
like a club or pub, it is illegal for staff to give alcohol to anyone under the
age of 18. It
is also against for anyone under 18 to drink alcohol or to carry it on these
premises and if you are caught, you could face big fines of up to $2750.
If you are having a party at your house, people
under the age of 18 can only drink if an adult responsible for them (like their
parent) supplies it or gives permission for them to drink. The adult responsible must act responsibly
when deciding to give alcohol to someone under the age of 18. For example, if
the young person is drunk this will not be considered responsible supervision.
If people are drinking,
remind your guests it is illegal and dangerous to drink and drive. If your
guests are on their “P” plates they must not have a blood alcohol reading when
they drive. If anyone has their full licence, the limit
is 0.05g. If you have guests who are planning to drink
there are a number of options:
- organise a taxi
- offer them a couch to sleep on
- organise a designated driver (someone who takes a night off from drinking to drive others home).
In Queensland it is
against the law to spike someone’s drink. Drink spiking is when people add
alcohol or another substance to someone else’s drink without their
knowledge. If you spike someone’s drink,
even as a joke, you are committing a crime and could face up to five years
out the Kids Helpline Safe
Partying page for some great advice on managing alcohol.
It is illegal to have
drugs at your house or on your body (e.g. in your pocket). If
you are caught with drugs you will be charged with possession and may face a
maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. This
will depend on the type and amount of drug you have. For more information on
the penalties you could face for possessing or using drugs please check out our
It is always a crime for anyone to threaten to hurt,
touch in a sexual way without consent or force another person to take part in
any sexual activity against their will. It is important to remember that regardless of whether or not people are
drinking at your party, you want to make sure all your guests stay safe. One
way to keep each other safe is to stay together or make plans to check in with
each other throughout the night. For more information regarding sexual assault
please read our Sexual
If there is a medical emergency, you should call an ambulance on
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.
Excessive noise from your party can be reported to police, 24 hours a day,
7 days a week. What
defines ‘excessive’ noise is left up to the police
who will consider the level of annoyance the noise is causing. The most common complaint from
neighbours is the level of noise at parties and it’s the most common reason
police are called to a party. The best way to avoid complaints from your neighbours
is to give them some warning of your party.
your party is considered to be creating ‘excessive noise’, then the police can tell
you to stop the noise. If you do not stop the noise and another complaint is received within 12 hours,
you may face a fine or your musical equipment may even be removed by the
Having a party at your house
is a lot of responsibility. You take on a duty for the safety of all your
guests, 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
more information, see our Being
Emergency Contact List
Have an emergency contact list drawn up and put it in
a place where it could be seen. The list
Police, Ambulance and Fire 000;
police- 131 444;
Information Centre 131 126;
responsible person’s number.
more tips on party planning visit:
Also check out our
For more information or legal advice, please
send us a Lawmail.
page was last reviewed 24 February 2015.