Strategy examples for liquor accords

These examples illustrate the various issues and topics that you could consider while creating your accord. Note that some points under the topics are required by law; however, it may still be relevant to obtain a commitment from members to focus on these areas.

They are broken into 3 broad topics:

  1. responsible service of alcohol
  2. improve safety and security
  3. commitment to being good neighbours.

Note: Click on any of the shaded items below for more information.

1. Responsible service of alcohol

(a) No unduly intoxicated patrons

  • Refuse service of alcohol to any patron showing signs of being unduly intoxicated.
  • Encourage patrons to drink responsibly and let them know they will be asked to leave if they become intoxicated, disorderly, violent or quarrelsome.
  • Refuse entry to all unduly intoxicated patrons.
  • Promptly and politely ask patrons to leave when they are showing signs of being unduly intoxicated, unless patron safety will be compromised by doing so.
  • Offer to call intoxicated patrons a taxi and/or provide water while they wait in a safe environment.

(b) 'Think the Drink'

  • The 'Think the Drink' program was originally developed and launched by the Goondiwindi liquor accord and has since been adopted by many accords.
  • The project educates future patrons of licensed premises about expected behaviour in bars, pubs and clubs, obligations of staff and patrons, information about standard drinks and intoxication levels. It also opens the way for future employment opportunities for the students.
  • Originally designed to provide alcohol awareness and responsible service of alcohol training to all year 12 students in the Goondiwindi and Boggabilla areas, it can be useful information for year 12 educational programs anywhere in Queensland.
  • Participants highly recommended that all school leavers in Australia should participate in the program.
  • The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) encourages all liquor accords statewide to adopt this program within their existing framework for school leavers.
  • Download the 'Think the Drink' methodology.

(c) No under-age drinking

  • Actively monitor all patrons to ensure they are not under-age by checking proper proof of age ID at the door.
  • Prominently display signage about restrictions on minors.
  • When checking ID make sure that the
    • ID is removed from a wallet/purse or cardholder and held by the staff member conducting the check
    • ID is checked to ensure it is current and an approved form of identification - photographic driver's licence, or a proof of age card issued by a government department or approved entity (e.g. 18+ card, Keypass or an Australian or foreign passport)
    • date of birth is checked to establish the age of the patron
    • date of birth is checked for any tampering
    • photo is checked to ensure it is the person presenting the ID, paying close attention to physical features
    • photo is checked to ensure it has not been substituted or tampered with
    • ID is checked overall for any bumps or raised areas that may indicate the identification has been tampered with
  • If valid ID is not supplied, no admittance to the premises is to be permitted.
  • If staff believe a document being presented is false, defaced or in the possession of a person who is not the owner of the ID and falsely presenting themselves as over 18, then the document will be confiscated and forwarded to OLGR.

(d) Discourage activities that encourage drinking excessively

  • Ban practices and promotions that may encourage rapid or excessive consumption of liquor.
  • When 'happy hours' do occur, snack food must be made available where practical.
  • At all times the principles of responsible service of alcohol will apply.
  • Avoid serving drinks that offer alcohol in non-standard measures.
  • Avoid 'drink cards' that provide multiple free drinks, extreme discounts or discounts of limited duration, or any other promotions or gimmicks that encourage rapid or excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Ensure smaller serves of drinks (e.g. half nips) are available at differential (lower) prices.

(e) Don't promote or sell alcoholic beverages that may encourage rapid or excessive consumption of liquor

  • Avoid labelling or promotions that may encourage patrons to consume liquor irresponsibly and excessively to an intoxicated state.
  • Avoid offering drinks that by their method of consumption encourages irresponsible drinking habits and are likely to result in rapid intoxication.
  • Do not advertise or allow promotions of very high alcohol substances - such as overproof rum and high alcohol carbonated drinks.
  • Do not allow stockpiling of drinks.

(f) Promote non- or low-alcohol beverages and food

  • Offer and promote low alcohol beer at differential (lower) prices compared to full strength.
  • Offer and promote a range of non-alcoholic drinks at differential (lower) prices.
  • Ensure bottled water is available for purchase at reasonable prices.
  • Provide and promote reasonably priced snacks and food throughout operating hours.

2. Improve safety and security

(a) Maintain proper standards of behaviour

  • Have the name of the manager on duty prominently displayed.
  • Do not promote activities that might encourage harassment by patrons of staff or other patrons.
  • Clearly display acceptable, and unacceptable, behaviour on documentation on the premises (house policy), such as the non-acceptance of excessive consumption of alcohol or drug use. This must be readily visible to patrons.
  • Assign staff trained in the responsible service of alcohol to actively monitor patrons and at regular intervals move through premises to assess any potential problems. (Monitoring should also include toilets.)
  • Actively liaise with police and other licensed premises when disorderly patrons have been ejected or are moving through the area.
  • Ensure internal and external security procedures are well maintained and functioning effectively.
  • Encourage phased and orderly exit of patrons from premises when closing.
  • Display phone numbers for taxis, police, ambulance and fire brigade adjacent to a public phone, or in an area where patrons can use their mobile phones while being heard above noise within the premises.

(b) Maintain safety and security

  • Conduct regular risk assessment of premises and surroundings.
  • Ensure entrances and exits are well lit and that immediate surrounds are safe and allow good visibility.
  • Implement good surveillance systems, such as closed circuit television systems, on premises.
  • Ensure all staff, including security staff, are clearly identifiable (distinctive T-shirts, uniforms, name tags, etc.).
  • Serve drinks in containers that minimise potential harm to customers.
  • Fully cooperate with police and other accord members on ways to improve public safety.
  • Prevent criminal activity and disorderly conduct from occurring on premises.
  • Notify police immediately if something illegal or suspicious occurs.
  • Where required, agree to implement additional or local strategies that relate to specific safety and security issues in and around the premises. These strategies would normally be negotiated between the licensee and the stakeholders.
  • Door/security or reception personnel will
    • wear clear ID at all times
    • not harass or intimidate passers-by or potential customers
    • not admit intoxicated people to the premises
    • check ID of any person that could be under 18 years-of-age - individuals will not be admitted unless suitable ID is produced
    • report incidents of false ID and fraudulent use of ID
    • monitor what people do after they leave premises and call police if necessary
    • not let people back into premises who have caused a disturbance
    • immediately contact police and other premises to inform them of potential 'problem' patrons in the vicinity
    • check for unlawful removal of alcohol from premises
    • help patrons access safe transportation out of the area
    • uphold any statutory requirements relating to security personnel, and enter details of any safety incidents in an incident register.

(c) Maintain records of incidents and have good communication with police

  • Maintain a register of all safety incidents noting the time, date and nature of the incident in and around the premises and the response by staff and management.
  • Notify police and other relevant authorities of any special events likely to significantly increase the number or type of people in the area. This should happen well in advance of the event.
  • Maintain a current list of emergency phone numbers and position it close to all key phones.
  • Train all staff in incident procedures, emergency numbers and how to use the incident book.
  • Encourage all staff members to do first aid courses and, where possible, ensure one staff member with a first aid certificate is rostered on to each shift.
  • Establish good communication with security at other venues (e.g. venue-to-venue radio and or a telephone contact listing).
  • Ensure close liaison and open communication with OLGR.

3. Commitment to being good neighbours

(a) Improve local amenity

  • Help patrons access safe transportation out of the area (e.g. door staff should volunteer information about access to the railway station, late night bus services and taxi ranks, and encourage patrons to use these quickly and quietly when departing).
  • Minimise noise from the premises. Wherever possible, doors should be kept closed.
  • Educate patrons, including through signage, about the need to respect the amenity, and to arrive at and depart the area in a quiet and orderly manner.
  • Prevent the unlawful removal of liquor from licensed premises.
  • Ensure staff, specifically door and security staff, are briefed on local issues, including potential traffic, noise or security problems.
  • Ensure police are informed of regular closing hours and any variations, such as for special events or new activities.
  • Respond to legitimate complaints and resident concerns and take all reasonable steps to ensure the premises is a 'good neighbour'.

(b) Patron responsibility

  • Post signage that clearly explains licensee and patron responsibility about the responsible service and consumption of alcohol (e.g. 'No More it's the Law' signage).
  • Ensure staff are appropriately trained to advise patrons when they will no longer be served and will be asked to leave the premises.
  • Patrons are expected to
    • treat staff with respect.
    • abide by the House Policies.
    • at all times obey the law and conduct themselves in an orderly and appropriate way.
    • respect the local amenity, particularly when arriving at and departing from the area.
    • not arrive drunk into the area - they will be refused entry and service.
    • immediately leave the premise when required.
    • accept refusal of service and refusal of entry.
    • cooperate with the police and the local community to improve local outcomes.

(c) Ensure all staff are trained

  • Ensure all employees and security staff complete an accredited Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course. New employees will complete the course within 1 month of their start date.
  • Maintain a register of staff that have completed an accredited RSA course.
  • Provide regular updates to new staff and retraining courses on the accord and related responsible service of alcohol and harm minimisation policies and practices.
  • Ensure strict reference checks are conducted on all staff in the context of good recruitment practices.
  • Ensure all staff are familiar with the incident book and are aware of how to use it when required.
  • Ensure staff have access to relevant literature on the accord, liquor laws and regulations.

(d) Actively monitor and promote the accord

  • Provide an ongoing commitment to the accord and to the continued proper management and conduct of the licensed premises.
  • Notify the police, or other relevant authorities where appropriate, of any event or practice detected that may impact on the accord or any other licensing law or regulation.
  • Establish and maintain effective complaints procedures.
  • Promote educational and informational items in the community to discourage the irresponsible service and consumption of alcohol.

Also consider...