Helping you ‘party smart’ on formal night

Released 14/11/2017

With formal season now upon us, Access Canberra is helping teens (and their parents), to be party smart when organising their big night.

“End of year formals are an exciting and much anticipated time for many. We want to make sure students have the best night they can without getting caught out,” said Derise Cubin, Deputy Director, Compliance and Enforcement, Access Canberra.

“Taking an amazing car to your formal is often part of the fun. Before booking, make sure the person you are hiring from has the appropriate accreditation and the vehicle is licensed as a public vehicle. If the vehicle and the driver are not licensed or accredited, it can mean that you are not covered in the case of an accident.

“Hire car operators are also required to hold a valid WWVP registration in order to offer services for children. We encourage anyone interested in hire car services for school formals to confirm the operator holds an appropriate WWVP registration before finalising their booking.

“Access Canberra will again have a presence at formals to make sure that all vehicles are roadworthy and the owners are appropriately accredited and licensed.

“We want to make sure people are safe on formal night so please make sure your car is legal before using it,” she said.

Students are reminded there are only three forms of photographic identification that can be used to establish proof of age when purchasing and consuming alcohol and entering licensed premises.  These are:

  • a current photographic driver’s licence (including a learner permit)
  • a current Proof of Age card or
  • a current passport.

School or college identity cards, transport concession cards or membership cards from other organisations are not acceptable identification for proof of age.

“Access Canberra will be working with licensees to make sure they are aware of their responsibilities around responsible serving of alcohol and access to a licensed venue by minors.

“To help you plan ahead of time we are encouraging you to take a look at our safe party tips, so everything runs smoothly on the night,” she said.
Safe party tips for school formals

Getting ready

  • Plan where you are going after the formal or party.
  • Tell a parent or a responsible adult where you are going.
  • Decide on a place to meet if separated or at the end of the night.
  • Carry friends’ mobile numbers.
  • Make arrangements to get home.

Smart drinking for those who are over 18

  • You don’t need alcohol to have a good time, so don’t feel pressured to have a drink.
  • Eat food while drinking.
  • Drink soft drink or water between alcoholic drinks.
  • If you are unsure about a drink, DON’T drink it.
  • When you buy a drink, watch the person behind the bar pour it.
  • Never accept a drink from a stranger.
  • Buy a drink in a bottle with a lid and don’t leave it unattended.

Getting home

  • Have a plan to get home safely.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Let your friends know you are leaving.
  • Meet your pre-arranged lift or catch a taxi home.
    Travel in a group and if walking, keep to main streets and well lit areas.

For more information visit

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