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Supply of Alcohol

The Powerhouse Behind the Epidemic of Teenage Drinking

Kids have easy access to alcohol these days. It is not uncommon to hear of children as young as 12 being introduced to alcohol without their parents consent. Availability of alcohol to teenagers is in epidemic proportions- especially in the private party environment. This age group is at great risk of harm, particularly as the supply is often without safe supervision or parental consent.

How are young children and teenagers readily gaining access to alcohol today?

  • In private party settings where parents or others are hosting teenage parties and supplying or encouraging BYO alcohol.
  • By attending a party or gathering where alcohol is present and poor communication or supervision by the host.
  • Purchased and exchanged by another person (often a stranger that agrees to buy when approached by the child.)
  • Purchased by parents, friends or older sibling -often for consumption at a party

Secondary supply of alcohol to minors poses an enormous health risk to our young generation. It is the ‘powerhouse’ behind our current teenage drinking epidemic and encourages early introduction of alcohol as well as on-going availability.

This disturbing phenomenon has been overlooked on a large scale by parents, the wider community and our government and is exacerbated by inadequate laws that address the secondary supply of alcohol to minors in an unlicensed premise.

“Secondary supply’ generally refers to the sale or supply of alcohol to people
under the age of 18 years (minors) by adults or other minors.”

Its broader definition however, seems to surround the ways a young person is supplied alcohol for consumption, other than when it is supplied directly by the parent or guardian with their permission and supervision.

States differ when it comes to legislation surrounding alcohol and minors. While strict laws are in place in licensed premises, it is still legal in some states to supply your under-age child alcohol in a private residence without your permission. Keep em Safe has been campaigning for National reform of liquor laws for minors. New laws were passed by the Victorian Coalition government in November 2011 that protect minors from unauthorised supply of alcohol at parties and gatherings in private residences. ( click on link below for further info on the new Victorian Teen drinking laws.)

Other states such as Queensland and Tasmania have also recently moved to close this loophole. The issue has now moved up to the Federal level agenda.

Legislation to address secondary supply is the ‘emergency brake’ we need to decrease alcohol related harm caused by unsupervised and unauthorised alcohol consumption in our young generation.

It will also:
  • Provide a safety net for our young people-especially the vulnerable.
  • Stamp the community message that it is both unsafe and unacceptable to supply an underage child alcohol unless you are the parent or guardian.
  • Reduce pressure on minors to start drinking early.
  • Provide parents with a good reason to resist supplying them alcohol for consumption without their supervision.
  • Give parents clear reasons and support to impose boundaries and subsequently help them with parenting their children.
  • Provide the catalyst for a change in attitudes surrounding the safe consumption of alcohol to young people.

PRESS RELEASE-Click on link below for further info


“From November 2011 it will be illegal to supply alcohol to anyone under 18 in your home,unless you have their parent’s permission”

Click on the link below to learn more about the new teen drinking law.




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