Party smart

So, you’re going to have a party – or going to a party – and you’re going to have a great time – right?

Hopefully. But not always. Drunks, gate crashers, arguments, neighbours’ complaints and, occasionally, fights can ruin the occasion. Alcohol consumption can be an unpredictable social factor.

But there are ways to avoid such pitfalls.

These tips – for party hosts, guests and parents – will help ensure parties are what they are meant to be – an event where everyone has a good time.

Party hosts

  • Prevent neighbour complaints
    Inform neighbours in advance and provide a phone number in case they wish to contact you.
  • Keep out the gatecrashers
    Issue written invitations and make entry by invitation only.
  • Stop the stayers
    Put a finishing time as well as start time on the invitation.
  • Advertise your intentions
    Consider displaying a ‘Safe Party Alert Poster’, available from your local police station.*
  • Supervise
    If it’s a young person’s party make sure there are non-drinking adults attending.
  • Arrange pick-ups
    Encourage parents to collect their children at a pre-arranged time.
  • Supply the drinks
    BYO parties can lead to excessive supply and unsupervised drinking.
  • Serve the drinks
    Make alcohol available from one area, served by a non-drinking adult.
  • Provide alternatives
    Non-alcoholic and low alcohol drinks allow guests to have a drink in their hand without increasing their alcohol consumption
  • Limit supplies
    Restrict the supply of full strength beers, champagne, wines and spirits.
  • Feed the guests
    Eating can slow down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed, but avoid salty foods which will encourage more drinking.
    If all else fails – you’re the host, you can ask people to leave. Be verbally assertive to gain control of the situation. Call police if matters are getting out of control, before they get worse. 

Party guests

  • Keep it to yourself
    Don’t tell others who haven’t been invited about the party, the most common cause of gatecrashing.
  • Share transport
    Don’t drive to a party if you’re going to have a drink, pool with other guests and nominate a sober driver to drive everyone home or arrange to be picked up at the end of the party.
  • Go with invited friends
    Link up with others to look out for each other, both at the party and getting home.
  • Bring an alternative
    Don’t take alcohol unless specifically asked and don’t take more than you will drink. Excessive supplies can lead to excessive consumption.


If your child has been invited to a party:

  • Check it out
    Speak with the host’s parents about the invitation list, numbers attending, age range, food and alcohol provision and pick-up times.
  • Get their number
    Make sure you know the address and telephone number of the venue.
  • Drop off and pick-up
    Be clear about when to drop your child off and when to pick them up, thus avoiding children collecting on the street unsupervised.

* It’s possible to register your party with police. Pick up a Safe Party Registration Form from your local station (parties must be registered at least seven days before the date). Alternatively you can download the form by clicking on the link on the top right hand side of this page. Police will unobtrusively monitor the event and your registration provides police with the information needed should trouble occur.