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.
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:
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 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:
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.
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 Assault page.
If there is a medical emergency, you should call an ambulance on 000.
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 fines.
The times when you are able to use music and sound equipment are also regulated: :
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 include:
For more tips on party planning visit:
For more information or legal advice, you can get help here.
This page was last reviewed in 24 February 2015.
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