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Removing partial bottles of wine from restaurant in Canberra?

By lealea - 8 April 2012 27

I’m wondering if fellow rioters might be able to help me with a query – I have tried searching through the archives but can’t find related discussions.

We went out for dinner tonight to a restaurant that is licensed but also allows BYO. We ordered a bottle of wine but didn’t finish it – as there was a good half bottle left, we asked if we could have the cap so that we could take it home but were told that the liquor licence prohibited it.

I have been through the liquor act and subordinate legislation but cannot see anything that clearly substantiates this (although I will admit to not being a lawyer!).  As I didn’t have time to locate and read a copy of their licence, I am not sure if it might be a special condition.

My parents have never encountered this sort of problem in Queensland and it just seemed a little too coincidental that this wine could also be ordered by the glass.

What’s Your opinion?

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27 Responses to
Removing partial bottles of wine from restaurant in Canberra?
Postalgeek 11:01 pm 08 Apr 12

So the moral of the story is carry your own cork?

burkes08 7:59 pm 08 Apr 12

If the establishment doesn’t have an ‘off licence’ they can’t provide liquor in a sealed container to take away from the premises. Thats why at most big events they have to open cans etc when you buy them.

74Daizies 7:09 pm 08 Apr 12

What restaurant was it??
I agree, you should have spat in the bottle….

joh8754 4:06 pm 08 Apr 12

It’s to do with the type of licence the premises has, I suspect.
The Liquor Act 2010 states that there are 5 types of licenses that premises can apply for.

An on licence is a licence that authorises the licensee to sell liquor at a single licensed premises; and in OPEN containers for consumption AT the premises; and at the licensed times. Examples of this are bar licenses, nightclub licenses and restaurant and cafe licenses.

An off licence a licence that authorises the licensee to sell liquorat a single licensed premises; and in SEALED containers for consumption OFF the premises; and at the licensed times. An example of this would be bottle shops.

As I mentioned, there are five types of licenses, but for the example provided in the OP, I suspect the above is the reasoning you’re after. Premises who are seen in contravention of the type of licence they have, ie, the restaurant allowing you to ‘remove the bottle for drinking off the premises’, may end up with being penalised.

RoyBatty 3:48 pm 08 Apr 12

You should have spat in it when you conceded it 🙂

bd84 3:30 pm 08 Apr 12

The restaurant is correct, unless the premises have a take away alcohol licence aka an “off-licence”, the liquor must remain on the premises. This is also why you cannot take your glass of beer from a pub. It also works the other way where you cannot consume alcohol you buy from a bottle shop within 500m of those premises as the licence states that the alcohol cannot be consumed on site.

Jack out of the box 3:15 pm 08 Apr 12

That would be “five types *of* licence”. Sorry pedants, I had a tiny keyboard/screen moment.

Jack out of the box 3:10 pm 08 Apr 12

There are five types licence provided for under the Liquor Act: general, on, off, club and special (see div 2.1). An ‘on licence’ is so named because it permits the sale of liquor for consumption on the premise. Most resteraunts would hold an on licence, although they could possible hold a ‘general licence’ (allowing for sale of liquor for consumption both on and off the premise).

Assuming that the resteraunt holds an on licence, which is most likely the case, they are only permitted to sell liquor for consumption on the premise and therefore couldn’t have allowed you to take for consumption elsewhere any of the undrunk wine. If you had brought your own bottle that you had purchased elsewhere you should have been free to take it away with you if you didn’t finish it at the resteraunt.

c_c 1:56 pm 08 Apr 12

Very dubious about it. You assumedly paid the full bottle price, therefore you own the bottle.
Once purchased, I don’t see how the liquor laws can intervene once it’s purchased.

grunge_hippy 1:53 pm 08 Apr 12

Wouldn’t it be the same rule as when you buy a bottled beer at a pub and you are not allowed to walk out the door with it until it is finished. Something about opened bottles not leaving licenced premises?

and I’m with the other OP’s… if you are leaving with half a bottle, you arent doing it right. Why only drink half the bottle? order it by the glass instead.

spooner 1:09 pm 08 Apr 12

I suspect that maybe there was a misunderstanding here. In Queensland/NSW you can’t take away alcohol on Good Friday “On Good Friday, licensed premises can open from 10am. However, alcohol can only be served with a meal prepared on the premises and eaten in an area of the premises ordinarily set aside for dining.”

… but in the ACT the only days that apply are ANZAC Day, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve ( “Schedule 2 Licensed times and permitted times”).

poetix 12:39 pm 08 Apr 12

I think you just need to drink more.

gooterz 12:39 pm 08 Apr 12

In one sense they can’t let you take the bottle if they think your going to go get completely wasted and smashed. As they are the people who have duty of care and RSA.

If they dont let you take it away it forces some to drink the whole bottle because they paid for it and that is irresponsible of the liquor licence.

Obiviously they wanted option 3:
you stay longer to drink the bottle, and thus must have dessert! $$

jessieduck 12:19 pm 08 Apr 12

Partially drunk bottle of wine? You’re doing it wrong.

Alderney 11:54 am 08 Apr 12

The chef obviously likes a drink.

I have no knoweldge about the legality of their position, but will offer my thoughts as requested.

I remember watching a movie some time ago where one of the characters sent back the first two bottles as not being up to standard after tasting. He then raises his next glass to the chef who was peeking out the door. Much appreciated apparantly as all returned bottles go the the kitchen staff for their enjoyment. I’ve no idea if this is the case as I’ve never worked in this area of hospitality.

My wife and I are generally in an unspoken race to see who won’t be driving home…We haven’t had to catch a taxi yet.

I’d learn from the experience and take a cork with you next time. Just pocket the bottle before the staff wise up to what you’re doing.

I would have thought that since you paid for the bottle it’s yours to do as you wish. Being one who would cut his nose off to spite his face, I would have poured the thing out so they couldn’t partake.

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