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September 25, 2011 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Youth Law – Alcohol

Can I drink in public?

You can only drink in public if there isn’t a liquor ban in place. In Wellington there is a complete liquor ban in the Wellington Central Area, Oriental Bay, Mt Victoria Lookout, Aro Valley, Central Park, Mt Cook and Newtown. This means that you cannot drink in public in these places, even if you are in your car!

What happens if I am caught drinking in a public place where there is a liquor ban?

The police have the right to search you for alcohol, take the alcohol off you and tip it out or make you tip it out. They can also give you a fine of between $200 and $2000 BUT before they do so they must warn you and give you the opportunity to leave the area or tip your alcohol out.

ID’s and bars

Do I have to have an ID to get into a bar?
You must have a photo ID to be able to get into a bar. This can be your passport, New Zealand Drivers Licence, or Official ‘Hospitality Association of New Zealand’ 18+ Card.

Can a bar turn me away for being too drunk?

Yes a bar can refuse to let you in and serve you alcohol for being too drunk. If they are caught serving intoxicated people then they can face huge fines.

What happens if I get caught with a fake ID?

If you use a fake ID this is considered ID fraud. If you use someone else’s ID you could face a fine of up to $1000. If you alter your own licence the fine can be up to $2000. Using a fake or someone else passport is even more serious, the penalty extends up to 10 years imprisonment.

If you have a legal question, email it to We may not print each question, but we will always reply. Printed questions will be vaguely related to issue themes, as far as possible.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    If you are using your friend’s R18 ID to get into a bar or club, you get caught and charged for committing fraud. The question is, does your friend (the owner of the ID) get charged a fine as well for letting you borrow their ID?

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