Host Responsibility Policy

Host responsibility outlines a set of strategies to help create safer drinking environments.  It aims to reduce intoxication and its associated harms by focussing on the server of alcohol and the environment in which alcohol is consumed.

Host responsibility is based on six key concepts

A responsible host:

  1. Prevents intoxication
  2. Does not serve alcohol to minors
  3. Provides and actively promotes low-alcohol and non-alcoholic alternatives
  4. Provides and actively promotes substantial food
  5. Serves alcohol responsibly or not at all
  6. Arranges safe transport options

Developing a Host Responsibility Policy

Your premises should have a Host responsibility policy documenting your commitment to Host responsibility practices.  A copy of the policy is to be submitted as part of the licence application and the renewal application.  A sample Host Responsibility Policy is attached.

The Host Responsibility policy should be followed up with an implementation plan outlining how staff will apply the policy.

Manager’s Checklist

  1. Your Host responsibility policy is written specifically for the premises, ideally with staff input.
  2. The policy is clearly visible to patrons and staff.
  3. Staff are aware of the policy, are suitably trained and receive obvious support from management, including the ongoing discussion of issues that may arise.
  4. Food is available at all times alcohol is sold.  Menus are clearly visible, It is a condition of all licences that food and non-alcoholic and low-alcohol drinks are available at all times alcohol is sold or served.
  5. The safe and healthy use of alcohol is encouraged: (a) Various food promotions and specials are available cheaply and quickly; (b) Low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks are promoted and readliy available and staff have a positive attitude towards these drinks; (c) The premises supports a designated driver scheme. Safe drinking and driving levels are actively encouraged; (d) Tea, coffee and iced water are available at the bar. Iced water is free of charge; (e) There is clear signage about the size of spirits served – double or singles.
  6. Clear and obvious notices about the laws relating to serving minors and intoxicated persons are displayed.
  7. Staff are trained to recognise and understand intoxication and practical interventions. They are encouraged to intervene early, either directly or through friends, and instructed not to continue serving alcohol to any customer who appears to be getting intoxicated.
  8. A telephone is readily available so patrons can make alternative transport arrangements.
  9. There are no promotions that encourage intoxication.