Refusal of service

Liquor licensees and their staff may refuse service to patrons because the:

  • law requires it (e.g. if the person is a minor or unduly intoxicated or disorderly)
  • safety of the patron is in jeopardy (i.e. from the consumption of liquor)
  • safety of others is in jeopardy (i.e. from the consumption of liquor by a particular patron)
  • licensee considers it warranted (provided it is not discriminatory).

You should be sure of your reasons for refusal of service and these reasons should not be discriminatory (based on race, gender, etc.). A patron has the right to take the matter to the Queensland Human Rights Commission if they feel they have been subjected to discrimination. Remember, if the patron who just walked in is slurring, it does not automatically mean they are unduly intoxicated. The person may have a medical condition. Common sense and tact must be applied in each case.

Patrons that are a genuine problem may be banned from licensed premises. There are 4 levels of bans that can be imposed:

  • court-imposed bans
  • police-imposed bans
  • venue bans
  • group venue bans.

This guide lists some 'dos and don'ts' of refusing service and explains the different banning orders that may be issued to problem patrons.