Liquor carriage limits

‘Sly grogging’ is the practice of transporting large quantities of liquor to remote areas of the State, often in areas where liquor restrictions are in place, or in ‘dry communities’, and illegally selling that liquor to vulnerable members of the community.

As a strategy to reduce sly grogging, section 109A of the Liquor Control Act 1988 (the Act) was created and the Liquor Control Regulations 1989 (the Regulations) were amended to insert new provisions that make it an offence for a person to carry large quantities of liquor, in prescribed areas of the State. In addition, the Act was amended to allow police officers to immediately dispose of liquor that is seized from a person who is contravening the new provisions.

The Minister for Racing and Gaming determined that carriage limits would initially be prescribed under regulation 16AA of the Regulations for the Kimberley region of Western Australia which includes the towns of Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra and Wyndham. The carriage limits apply in the towns and in the area within 20km of the boundaries of those towns, as well as the area within 5km of a remote Aboriginal community that is subject to regulations under section 175(1a) of the Act (dry communities).

The carriage limits also apply to an area within 5km of the boundaries of the Shire of Broome, Shire of Derby-West Kimberley, Shire of Halls Creek and the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley.

Type of liquorQuantity of liquor
If carried on its own or with 1 other kind of liquorIf carried with 2 or more other kinds of liquor
Beer (2.7% to 7%)1 carton (11.25 litres) 0 litres
Cider (2.7% to 7%)1 carton (11.25 litres) 0 litres
Pre-mixed spirits and other liquor (2.7% to 7%)1 carton (11.25 litres) 0 litres
Wine (7% to 15%)3 bottles (2.25 litres) 0 litres
Fortified wine (greater than 15%)1 litre0 litres
Spirits and other liquor (greater than 15%)1 litre0 litres

A vehicle includes motor vehicles, ships, trains or aircraft and trailers, semi-trailers or caravans attached to a vehicle.

The calculation of the quantity of liquor in a vehicle will be based on adult occupants of a vehicle. The regulations allow a maximum of five quantities of liquor to be carried in a vehicle if five adult occupants are in a vehicle. This means that if a vehicle can carry 6 passengers or more, the maximum quantity of liquor that can be carried in a vehicle is five times the limits listed above.

A defence applies for liquor being carried for the purpose of a lawful sale or in prescribed circumstances and exemptions apply to tourists, pastoralists, station owners and operators of remote work sites. Exemptions also apply to vehicles operated by licensees and police officers in the course of duty.

The prescribed penalty for a person who carries a quantity of liquor that exceeds the prescribed quantity is a fine of $10,000. A magistrate hearing a matter relating to a breach of this provision, will have the discretion to impose a penalty of up to $10,000.

The enforcement of the regulations will be undertaken by WA Police.

Page reviewed 08 November 2022