Party Hosts face 3 years imprisonment for “out of control” parties

goldcoastOut of Control Party Laws

Organisers of out-of-control parties could face hefty fines or jail time under new out of control party laws to go before State Parliament this week.

Under the out of control party laws, a person who organises a party that becomes an out-of-control event, their parents or gate crashers face a maximum penalty of 12 months jail or $12,100. If police face aggravated and violent circumstances when shutting down wild parties, the party organisers may face fines up to $18,150 and three years in prison.

The out of control party laws provide a defence for a person who has taken reasonable steps to ensure the event does not become out-of-control, or where a third party has caused the offence.

Out-of-control conduct is said to include behaviour such as fighting, damaging property, throwing objects to harm people, disorderly conduct, making unreasonable noise and trespassing.

Police Powers

The new out of control party laws give police the power to:

  1. make directions;
  2. take steps reasonably necessary to effectively respond to ‘out of control’ events; and
  3. includes the provision for a person convicted of a relevant offence to pay all or some of the costs incurred by police.

This legislation is expected to be passed by the Government later this week.

While the term out of control party conjures up images of 100’s of drunken teenagers spilling out on suburban streets the reality of the proposed legislation is quite different.  According to the draft bill, a party is a gathering of twelve or more people.

A party is considered “out-of-control” if three people at that party are deemed by police to be drunk in a public place, cause excessive noise, or use “indecent” language.

The difficulty we have with these proposed laws is that the police already have the powers to arrest people for being drunk and disorderly, being a public nuisance, assault, wilful damage, exposure etc.  This new legislation is at best redundant but at worst seeks to make responsible those that are hosting events for the behaviour of their guests.

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For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

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