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Schoolies and the consequences of excess behaviour

By Andrew Moloney - posted Monday, 23 November 2009

With schoolies now underway the last thing that many revellers would be thinking about would be the long term consequences of any excessive behaviour.

The schoolies crowd is focused on celebrating and having a good time but the fear is that some of them do not appreciate the future effect of the consequences of their actions if they are drunk or doing drugs.

The police and the Court are not lenient on these offences and a moment of silliness could cause long term grief. In particular the Court’s attitude to drunken public violence is hardening.


Schoolies need to realise that if they do something stupid and are arrested, tried and convicted it could hinder their career and travel prospects for the rest of their lives.

Many people do not appreciate that a drug conviction can seriously affect your ability to travel. Those with a drug conviction can been refused entry to many countries and in particular America.

Certain jobs will be closed to people who have been in trouble with the law even where a conviction is not recorded. Many occupations these days require licences or practising certificates to undertake them. They are generally governed by legislation and have rules about how one’s character is assessed.

Over time the definition of conviction has been broadened in most circumstances to include any finding of guilt; that is to say even when you have been given the benefit of no conviction being recorded certain professions and occupations that are governed by legislation are able to find out a person’s “criminal history” even where convictions have not been recorded or good behaviour bonds given.

In other words you may not be able to hide your mistake. Examples include the legal profession, accountancy, psychologists, the police service, and even general hospitality jobs at places like casinos.

A criminal conviction for something such as a drugs offence could see them refused entry to several overseas countries. Overseas countries are hardening rules about the character of the people they allow to cross their borders.


It is important that people do not lose sight of the reality that out of control behaviour could ruin their lives even when they are a young person. Schoolies is seen as the celebration of the end of a section of a person’s life and it would be a pity to ruin your prospects for the next part of your life before it has even begun.

Parents buying alcohol for their schoolies children are not doing their children any favours and could be considered to be breaking the law.

The Liquor Act provides heavy penalties for individuals who sell alcohol to minors (up to $8,000), as well as for licensed premises where alcohol is knowingly sold to minors (up to $25,000).

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About the Author

Andrew Moloney is Managing Partner of the Gold Coast office of state wide criminal defence law firm Ryan and Bosscher Lawyers.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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