OLGR drops mic on karaoke bar

The licensee of a Sunnybank Hills karaoke bar has been fined to the tune of $27,000 over 4 charges against the Liquor Act 1992 (the Act).

On 1 October Sunny Hills Enterprise Pty Ltd, the licensee company for Lexington Queen, pleaded guilty to the charges brought by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) in the Holland Park Magistrates Court. This included 1 charge of engaging in unacceptable practices and promotions.

Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming, Victoria Thomson said enforcement action by the OLGR reflected the licensee’s continued disregard towards patron safety and the law.

“This is this licensee’s second time facing court on similar breaches of the Act and should serve as a warning to any non-compliant operators that OLGR won’t hesitate to take prosecution action where there is a blatant disregard for the law,” Ms Thomson said.

The court heard that OLGR compliance officers attended the venue in December 2020 for a routine inspection and identified several issues, including irresponsible service of alcohol practices. Of greatest concern was that the licensee allowed patrons to self-pour from bottles of spirits inside one of the karaoke rooms where they were also not monitored by venue staff.

In a follow-up interview the licensee admitted that, on occasion, patrons had become so intoxicated they had fallen asleep.

The Commissioner said that when it comes to responsible service of alcohol (RSA), there are no exceptions between venues.

“RSA is an industry standard. It is vital to minimise potential harm caused by alcohol abuse and misuse, and associated effects to the amenity and safety of the community,” she said.

“Licensees and staff are required to supply alcohol in a responsible way, including a manner which discourages rapid or excessive consumption, and allows patrons to monitor and control their drinking.”

The licensee also faced charges relating to crowd controller obligations and for failing to comply with CCTV conditions that are required under the Act for venues in the Brisbane City Council area.

No conviction was recorded although in handing down the fine Acting Magistrate Sue Ganasan said the licensee had potentially allowed for terrible and tragic things to happen.

The Commissioner said that liquor laws are there to ensure a level playing field for all licensees.

“Licensees must understand and follow their licence conditions to ensure they run their business successfully, safely and in accordance with the law,” she said.

Anyone with queries or concerns about requirements of the Act can contact the OLGR by email at liquorcompliance@justice.qld.gov.au or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Media enquiries: HPRmedia@justice.qld.gov.au