It’s that time of the year again when scores of interstate teenagers descend on the Gold Coast for their end of school celebrations, which for some revellers may result in being on the wrong side of the law.
Sadly, every year we see stories about schoolies falling from balconies and arrests for drug and alcohol-related offences. For NSW and Victorian school leavers, an early exit due to illegal behaviour could end up costing them a lot more than they bargained for.
As a parent who someday faces the reality of sending my children off to Schoolies, providing guidance around your child’s rights and responsibilities will go a long way to preparing them for the festivities, including:
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• Downloading The Emergency+ app – interstate schoolies who are not familiar with the area may not know their exact location when they find themselves in trouble, especially given our wide open spaces like beaches and parks. The app uses the existing GPS functionality of the phone to provide emergency services with their specific location information.
• Carry identification with you at all times – anyone found using a fake or borrowed ID can face fines up to $630.
• In Queensland you must be 18 years of age to buy alcohol or enter a licensed venue. Individuals could face on-the-spot fines for under-age drinking or worse, face a fine of $10,080 for supplying alcohol to under-age friends.
• By law, individuals only have to provide their name and address if asked by Police, however if it’s an age-related enquiry such as consumption of alcohol you will also need to provide your date of birth.
• Unless placed under arrest, Schoolies are not required to attend a police station. If placed under arrest it’s important you immediately ask to speak with a family member or a lawyer and understand you don’t have to answer questions.
Schoolies should be an exciting time for school-leavers, but arming party-goers with the tools needed to navigate this rite of passage is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable time is had by all.
For more information on Schoolies’ rights and responsibilities, visit: schoolies.qld.gov.au/