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 a 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:
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:
You can notify the police by:
Remember to tell the police if the party gets postponed, relocated or cancelled.
If you’re having your party at a licensed premises, for example a pub or a club, remember it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to drink or even carry alcohol. It is also a crime for anyone to sell or provide a person under 18 with alcohol on licensed premises. In fact, someone under 18 may not be allowed on the premises or part of the premises unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
At a party in a private house, only a parent or guardian may serve alcohol to someone under the age of 18. They also must serve the alcohol with responsible supervision considering the age of the child, the quantity of the alcohol and the time period over which it is served. If the child 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. Generally this means you can have two standard drinks in your first hour and one every hour after that but will depend on your weight, size and alcohol tolerance. If you have guests who are planning to drink there are a number of options:
In the Northern Territory, it is against the law to spike someone’s drink. Spiking a drink is when people add alcohol or another substance to someone else’s drink without their knowledge. Though this may be considered a joke or a prank, it can be very distressing and lead to someone getting seriously hurt. If you spike another person’s food or drink, by putting in an intoxicating substance they do not expect it to contain, you are guilty of a crime. It is also illegal if you add more alcohol to someone else’s drink than they would expect to be in there, for example giving someone a double shot when they ask for a single. This includes situations to cause humiliation or embarrassment, meaning that just a ‘prank’ will still be breaking the law and you could face up to 2 years imprisonment.
It is 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 could face a fine of up to $2448 or even prison. However, if there are drugs at your house and in someone else’s control you will not be guilty of possession. Control means the right to use or own them.
It is 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. At parties, lots of people may be socialising and maybe finding someone special. One way to keep each other safe is to stay together or make plans to check in with each other throughout the night.
It is important that if someone gets hurt or drinks too much and it is an emergency, you call an ambulance on 000.
At the ambulance’s arrival, you should tell them all the details about the injury or possible overdose including:
The ambulance officers do not have to call the police unless:
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.
The most common complaint from neighbours is the level of noise at parties. 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. Noise is the most common reason police are called to a party. ’Undue’ noise made after 12am on any day can be reported to police, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What defines ‘undue’ noise is left up to the police, however things such as how much interference the noise is causing your neighbours as well as the time, location and volume will be important in determining whether there is too much noise.
If your party is judged to be creating ‘undue noise’, then the police can order a noise abatement direction to stop the noise. If you do not stop making noise after a ten minute period you are breaking the law and may face a fine up to $2000.
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.
Have an emergency contact list drawn up and put it in a place where it could be seen. The list should include:
For more tips on party planning visit:
Last revised on January 2014
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