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
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
- 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 police by:
- calling them on 13 14 44
- going to your local police station or
- downloading a ‘Party Safe’
form from the website and handing it in at least one week before the party to your local police station in person,
by post, fax or email.
to tell the police if the party gets postponed, relocated or cancelled.
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 the law for anyone under 18 to drink alcohol or to carry it
on these premises and if you are caught, you will face fines of up to $1300.
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.
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).
Drink spiking is against the law. This is when people add alcohol
or another substance to someone else’s drink without their knowledge. It is also against the law if you make a
person take a drug or drink that will change their behaviour, affect their
ability to think and make decisions without their permission. The penalty for
this is a fine of up to $13,000 and/or up to two years in prison.
It doesn’t matter if this was just a joke or a prank. Check out the Kids
Partying page for some great advice on managing alcohol.
It’s illegal to have drugs at your house or on your body (e.g. in
your pocket). If
you are found to have drugs in your possession, you may be fined up to $6,500
or a maximum of two years in prison.
For more information on the penalties you could face for possessing or using
drugs please check out our Drugs page.
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
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.
In Tasmania it is a crime to cause an ‘environmental nuisance’. Too much noise may be considered an environmental nuisance depending on its
volume, duration, when the noise is made and whether it can be heard in a room
in your neighbour’s house.
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.
However, you must also keep noise to a minimum, especially after midnight. If your party is
judged by the police to be creating ‘environmental nuisance’, then you may face
The times when you are able to use music and sound equipment are
Monday to Thursday: 7am to 10pm
Friday: 7 am to midnight
Saturday: 9 am to midnight
Sunday and Public Holidays: 10 am to 10pm
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 for negligence.
For more information, see our Being Sued page.
Have an emergency contact list drawn up and put it in a place
where it could be seen. The list should
- Emergency: Police, Ambulance and Fire 000;
- Poisons Information Centre 131 126;
- A responsible person’s number.
For more tips on party planning visit:
For more information or legal advice, please send us a Lawmail.
This page was
last reviewed 24 February 2015.