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Stay safe and out of trouble this Christmas

Christmas is a popular time for people to celebrate, often with large group events that involve alcohol. It’s also the time of year that many people get themselves into...

Justin Wong

Christmas is a popular time for people to celebrate, often with large group events that involve alcohol. It’s also the time of year that many people get themselves into trouble with relatively minor offences.

You may not be aware that there are a range of minor criminal offences for which you can receive a Criminal Infringement Notice involving an on-the-spot fine. You could also be required to attend court. So when you’re celebrating this year, be careful to avoid these offences:

  1. Failure to leave licensed premises

You can be refused admission or turned out of licensed premises by a security guard or other employee of the venue for several reasons, including if you:

  • Are intoxicated, violent, quarrelsome or disorderly;
  • Are smoking in a smoke-free area; or
  • Have a substance on you that is suspected of being a prohibited drug.

If you are refused admission or turned out of licensed premises, it is an offence if you do not leave those premises. You will have to attend court and can be fined up to $5500 for failing to leave, or re-entering the premises within 24 hours.

You also cannot remain in the vicinity of the premises or re-enter the vicinity within 6 hours of being refused admission or turned out of the premises, or you may be subject to the same penalty.

  1. Failure to comply with police directions

It is an offence to refuse or fail to comply with a direction given by police, such as a “move on” direction.

Police can give you a “move on” direction to leave a public place if you are intoxicated and police believe on reasonable grounds that as a result of your intoxication, your behaviour is disorderly, or is likely to cause injury, damage properly, or risk the public safety.

You will be considered “intoxicated” if your speech, balance, co-ordination or behaviour is noticeably affected and it is reasonable for police to believe that this is the result of alcohol or drugs.

If you fail to comply with such a direction, you will have to attend court and can be fined up to $220.

  1. Intoxicated and disorderly behaviour

If you are given a “move on” direction by police for being intoxicated and disorderly in public, and you act in an “intoxicated and disorderly” manner in any public place at any time within six hours of being given the direction, you could be guilty of an offence.

You can receive a criminal infringement notice for this, requiring you to pay a maximum fine of $1650.

  1. Offensive conduct & offensive language

You are not allowed to conduct yourself in an “offensive manner” in or near, or within view or hearing from, a public place or school. If you do, you could be fined up to $660 or imprisoned for 3 months.

Offensive conduct includes a wide range of behaviour and includes things like public urination and anti-social behaviour.

You are also not allowed to use offensive language in or near, or within hearing from, a public place or school. For this offence, you can receive a fine of up to $660 or receive up to 100 hours of community service.

If you are charged or given a Criminal Infringement Notice over the Christmas period, we can help. Make an online enquiry or send us an email and we will get back to you quickly.