On 1 January 2012, the new Liquor Amendment (3 Strikes) Act 2011 (NSW) came into force. The purpose of the "3 Strikes Act" is to prescribe a disciplinary scheme for licensees who repeatedly commit offences under the Liquor Act 2007 (NSW).

Strike 1

If a licensee commits a prescribed offence, they will incur their first strike. Prescribed Offences include but are not limited to:

  1. permitting intoxication on licensed premises;
  2. permitting indecent, violent or quarrelsome conduct on licensed premises;
  3. selling or supplying alcohol to an intoxicated person or a minor;
  4. permitting the use or sale of substances which the licensee or manager suspects are illicit drugs; or
  5. selling or supplying alcohol outside of authorised trading hours.

A strike 1 offence remains on the licensee's record for a period of 3 years.

Strike 2

If, within the 3 year period from when a first strike is incurred, a licensee commits a further Prescribed Offence, a second strike is imposed on their record.

If a licensee has incurred 1 or 2 strikes, conditions can be imposed on their licence in the discretion of the Director General of the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services (Director General). Such conditions can include: prohibiting the use of glass at the licensed premises and/or requiring the licensee to take part in additional responsible service of alcohol training. The Director General is also empowered to impose more stringent conditions including restricting who can be a manager; implementing security measures and lockouts at the licensed premises; or prohibiting the types of alcohol sold from the licensed premises.

Strike 3

If a licensee commits a third Prescribed Offence, within 3 years of the date of the first offence, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (previously the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Authority) is required to take action by cancelling or suspending the licensee's licence.

Owners of licensed premises and licensees should take note of this new disciplinary regime and ensure that they and their staff maintain the required qualifications and training to ensure compliance with the Liquor Act 2007 (NSW).

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