Bar manager convicted for allowing minors to serve alcohol

May 15, 2019
By Alana House

The manager of Coast Bar & Restaurant at Gosford is facing almost $20,000 in fines and legal costs after two minors on school work experience served alcohol at the venue.

Alain Alpha was convicted of two counts of allowing the two underaged girls to serve liquor and two counts of allowing an employee to sell liquor without Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certification.

The conviction and fine follow an investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW, which included a review of CCTV footage.

Underage girls serving alcohol at Coast Bar & Restaurant.
CCTV footage of the underage girls serving alcohol.

The footage confirmed two girls aged 16 and 17 on work experience at the venue served alcohol to patrons. This was despite conditions of the work placement that prevented the girls from serving alcohol.

Neither of the minors held RSA qualifications at the time of the work placement.

Authorities were tipped off after a teacher heard the girls talking about serving alcohol.

The girls were taken to their school principal, who notified Liquor & Gaming.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations, Sean Goodchild, said the incident showed a brazen disregard for measures that are meant to protect people from alcohol-related harm.

“Having minors serve alcohol without permission or the right training is highly irresponsible and puts both patrons and the young people at risk,” Goodchild said.

“Responsible service of alcohol is non-negotiable in licensed venues, regardless of whether someone is on work experience or a full-time employee.”  

Under NSW liquor laws, it is illegal for minors to serve alcohol at a licensed venue unless approved by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA). The laws also require that staff have relevant competency cards or RSA certificates to serve alcohol.

Alpha was sentenced in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on May 8 by Magistrate Georgina Darcy. He was fined $2500 and ordered to pay more than $17,000 in legal costs.   

Alpha’s lawyer Paul McGirr told 7 News his client’s wife went into labour on the day the footage was taken.

He said it appeared other staff members had asked the young girls to take the drinks to tables, and didn’t realise the girls didn’t have their Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificates.

McGirr added that Alpha hasn’t ruled out an appeal, and won’t be taking on any more work experience employees in the near future. 

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