View Current

Alcohol policy

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 5 October 2023.

(2) This Policy includes the following schedule:

  1. Schedule A: Guidelines for the consumption of alcohol.
Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Policy sets out the framework for the responsible supply and consumption of alcohol by students, staff and associates of the University at any activity or events where they are representing the University.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(4) The Policy applies to students, staff and associates of the University who are:

  1. in attendance at University premises including residential accommodation services operated by the University
  2. taking part in:
    1. a University activity as a participant or representative of the University (e.g. field trips, inter-University events, conferences, functions on non-University premises); or
    2. events involving alcohol that are organised or controlled by the University, including University-controlled entities, University business operations, University clubs affiliated with the University through Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) and student clubs supported by the Faculties.
Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy


(5) The University aims to ensure a safe and inclusive learning and work environment.

(6) The University is committed to the prevention of harm from the misuse of alcohol.


(7) The University permits the responsible use of alcohol and promotes the choice not to consume alcohol. The University encourages the use of healthy non-alcoholic beverages such as water.

(8) Alcohol may be consumed at various University activities and venues.

(9) The University requires respectful social responsibility by staff, students and associates. This means that each person has a role in:

  1. safeguarding a healthy learning and work environment free of the consequences of alcohol misuse
  2. making informed decisions about their own level of alcohol consumption in an environment free of inducement and social pressure to drink to excess (Refer Schedule A: Guidelines for the consumption of alcohol)
  3. supporting colleagues and others in the responsible use of alcohol including the choice not to consume alcohol.

(10) Students, staff and associates of the University are expected to observe Victorian and Australian law in relation to using, possessing, giving or selling alcohol on University premises. Notably:

  1. individuals under 18 must not be supplied with alcohol
  2. no individual is to consume alcohol when they are under the legal drinking age (i.e. under 18 years of age)
  3. alcohol will not be served to anyone who is deemed to be intoxicated
  4. no individual will give another person or cause another person to be given or to consume food or drink which contains alcohol if the recipient is not aware the food or drink contains alcohol or that the food or drink contains more alcohol than the recipient would reasonably expect it to contain.

(11) Individuals must meet standards of conduct and safety as set out in the Code of Conduct, the Student Code of Conduct and the Health, Wellbeing and Safety policy.  

Impairment due to alcohol consumption

(12) The University recognises that an individual’s consumption of alcohol may impair that person’s ability to perform safely or productively and may negatively impact on others. For this reason:

  1. staff and associates must present fit for work and free from the effects of alcohol as assessed by a reasonable person;
  2. the misuse of alcohol is forbidden on University premises and on University business;
  3. students, staff and associates must not operate a University vehicle if they are impaired by alcohol;
  4. students, staff and associates must not consume alcohol during or prior to participation in any activity that is inherently hazardous or likely to become hazardous as a result of the consumption of alcohol as this poses a risk to the individual, to other members of the community and/or to University property. Activities of this kind include but are not limited to:
    1. handling of dangerous goods
    2. control of heavy machinery or equipment
    3. work in laboratories, workshops, construction sites or other hazardous locations
    4. electrical maintenance work
    5. active sport or recreation
    6. performance planning and review meetings between managers and staff.

(13) Where persons are perceived to be impaired due to the consumption of alcohol, the University:

  1. may request the person to leave the event, workplace or learning environment until such time as they are no longer impaired
  2. will take reasonable steps to remove the person’s access to University vehicles and equipment until such time as they are no longer impaired
  3. may take other action that the University determines to be appropriate in the circumstances.

(14) In line with their responsibilities to contribute to a healthy learning and work environment students and staff must notify the relevant supervisor or staff member in charge if they perceive that the ability of a student or staff member to study or work is impaired by alcohol. (Refer Health, Wellbeing and Safety policy)

(15) Staff with responsibilities for teaching, research supervision and the support and welfare of students and those who manage others have additional responsibilities to promote the responsible use of alcohol, to be alert to indicators of alcohol misuse and to take appropriate action when necessary. Managers and supervisors of staff have specific responsibilities set out in the Health, Wellbeing and Safety policy.

University support

(16) The University will provide support for students and staff who are experiencing alcohol-related issues, including addiction. This support may take the form of:

  1. referral to appropriate counselling or medical services
  2. facilitation of time to attend treatment and management programs, or
  3. any other support that the University considers appropriate in the circumstances. 

(17) Students needing assistance with alcohol related issues should contact the Division of Student Life.

(18) Staff needing assistance with alcohol related issues should contact/speak with their manager, the Human Resources Division Health, Wellbeing and Safety team, their HR Client Partner or the Employee Wellbeing Support (EWS).

Managing the use of alcohol around events

(19) Event organisers must complete an event risk assessment as part of planning any University event.

(20) Event organisers must fully understand this Policy and applicable laws, regulations and University procedures and guidelines and manage their events accordingly. They also are expected to keep the safety and wellbeing of participants at the forefront of their planning and management of events. Further information can be found at

(21) Event organisers must make appropriate security arrangements for any event on campus or on University premises at which alcohol is being served.

(22) Activities that encourage or permit the excessive consumption of alcohol must not occur at events on or off University premises.

(23) Advertising and sponsorship of an event must not advertise or promote alcohol in a way that tends to encourage:

  1. minors to drink alcohol, or
  2. rapid or excessive consumption of alcohol.

(24) At any University controlled or sponsored event at which alcohol will be served, sufficient quantities of non-alcoholic beverages must also be available to guests. Where required by law or as a condition of any liquor licence, the University will ensure food is available.

(25) The University prohibits the possession or storage of items used for common/mass distribution of alcohol (e.g. kegs) other than as part of the licensed venues on University premises.

University residences

(26) The University respects the rights of residents who are over the age of 18 years to consume alcohol within a University accommodation complex or whilst at residents’ functions or events in a responsible and legal manner, on the understanding that the consumption of alcohol does not:

  1. have a detrimental effect on themselves, other persons and the residential community
  2. have a detrimental effect on the good standing of Deakin Residential Services and the University
  3. damage University property.

(27) Deakin Residential Services has in place rules covering the use of alcohol in residences that are consistent with this Policy; known to the residents and monitored regularly for effectiveness.


(28) The University will provide guidance and information to students, staff and associates to help them develop an understanding about what action to take if they are concerned about alcohol misuse, the health and safety of students, of staff members, or of themselves.

Disciplinary action

(29) Being intoxicated will not be accepted as an excuse for behaviour that breaches the requirements and expectations set out under this and other University policies, nor will it lessen an individual’s accountability for misbehaviour. Disciplinary action can be taken against individuals who breach this Policy under the Student Misconduct procedure and the Staff Discipline procedure.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedure

(30) There is no attendant Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Definitions

(31) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. alcohol misuse: the intermittent or continual use of alcohol which causes detriment to the individual's health, functioning, or performance at work or study, and which affects efficiency, productivity, safety, attendance, conduct at the University, including endangering the safety of others.
  2. associates: contractors, consultants, volunteers, visiting appointees and visitors to the University.
  3. responsible use of alcohol: Responsible drinking includes making sound judgments about whether, when, and how much to drink, understanding the health issues related to the consumption of alcohol, and avoiding excessive or "binge" drinking or any other abuse of alcohol that negatively affects an individual’s academic, work, social, sporting, or personal activities, and health. (Refer Schedule A: Guidelines for the consumption of alcohol).
  4. staff: a member of the academic or professional staff, executive or Honorary staff member.
  5. university affiliated club: a club or association affiliated through a student association
  6. university event: any event that is organised or controlled by the University, including University-controlled entities, University business operations and University clubs affiliated through a student association.