In Australia, alcohol can be part of many social occasions – people drink to celebrate, relax and have fun.
While enjoying a drink with your friends can be a fun way to socialise, it’s important you understand the laws around alcohol in Australia and the potential health problems caused by drinking.
A standard drink in Australia is any drink containing 10 grams of alcohol, regardless of the type of alcohol (e.g. beer, wine, spirit) and size of container (e.g. glass, bottle, can).
Counting standard drinks is a much more reliable way of keeping track of how much alcohol you’ve consumed. Counting glasses, bottles, or cans of alcohol can be misleading because they can contain different amounts of alcohol.
Always read the container for the exact number of standard drinks.
For more information about standard drinks, visit the National Health and Medical Research Council website.
There are different laws that apply in each Australian state and territory regarding the use of alcohol. However, generally you cannot:
Alcohol laws in Australia restrict drinking in certain places. For example, it’s illegal to drink alcohol in public places (e.g. beaches, parks and streets).
Penalties for breaking these laws may include:
Ongoing and regular drinking can have harmful effects on your health and can lead to organ damage. Alcohol can also increase your risk of developing certain cancers and harm your baby during pregnancy.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends you drink no more than 2 standard drinks per day.