Samantha and Armando Menezes and their children Liam, Tavis, Holly and Lachlan. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

A WA mother of four is spearheading a campaign for laws to penalise adults who supply alcohol to youths without their parents' consent.

She says the onus for behaviour "needs to tip back on to parents".

Sign Mrs Menezes' petition |

After police had to break up two big parties at the weekend, including an out-of-control event with 300 people in Yokine, Samantha Menezes said secondary supply laws were needed so adults fuelling bad behaviour were held accountable.

Mrs Menezes, whose children are aged eight to 21, said she and husband Armando's strict ban on underage drinking at their home seemed to put them in the minority.

"The onus needs to tip back on to parents," Mrs Menezes, a health promotions student, said. "Parents need to be held accountable."

The laws, which apply to supplying alcohol in a private home, exist in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria, where adults face fines of at least $7000.

In WA, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan and Commissioner for Children and Young People Michelle Scott have backed having similar laws.

The issue is within the terms of reference of a current review of the Liquor Control Act.

Geoff Munro, of the Australian Drug Foundation - one of several groups backing Mrs Menezes' petition to the State Government - said about 40 fines were issued in Victoria last year.

"In WA, any person can give any child of any age any amount of alcohol legally," he said. "Now that is an absurd proposition.

"The laws give parents who are upset when their children are given alcohol a mechanism to take real action."

Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron said there were "significant legal issues" with secondary supply laws but he supported the issue being included in the liquor laws review.

"While other jurisdictions have introduced similar legislation, there have been very few successful prosecutions," he said.

Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia co-ordinator Paul Dillon, who also supports Mrs Menezes, said he dealt with children who knew there was no law to stop them drinking in private.

"Parents want to be able to send their child off to a party on a Saturday night knowing there's some sort of protection there," he said.

The West Australian

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