It's a common occurrence: You're having a great night down the pub when one of your mates is abruptly refused service for being intoxicated. Usually they're no more drunk than anyone else, but just happened to slur their voice while ordering. In these situations, it can be tempting to buy them a sneaky tipple so they can continue to drink and make merry. It turns out this is a costly mistake.
Drunk women picture from Shutterstock
Licensed premises face hefty fines if they knowingly serve alcohol to intoxicated patrons. It's for this reason that tipsy customers are often refused service, even if they aren't being incoherent, uncoordinated or aggressive.
What you might not know is that it's not just the venue that needs to watch out — patrons can also be fined if they're caught giving liquor to an inebriated friend. As explained on the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) website:
It is an offence for patrons to supply alcohol to an intoxicated person on licensed premises. Offenders face a maximum fine of $1100.
Similar rules are upheld in all states and territories across Australia. In other words, while it's the responsibility of the venue to prevent patrons from becoming intoxicated, you can still be held personally liable for plying a drunk friend with drinks.
Better order them a soda water just to stay safe, eh? Either that, or go get maggoted in the privacy of your own home. [He means "drink responsibly." — Legal Dept.]