Melanie Maeseele | 13 November, 2011 | Gold Coast Bulletin
PARENTS who supply alcohol to their children for the annual Schoolies festival face being fined and risking their child’s future, according to a prominent Gold Coast legal firm.
Criminal defence lawyer Bill Potts said courts were becoming increasingly unsympathetic to teenagers and parents who did the wrong thing.
Schoolies revellers descending on the Gold Coast for the festival that begins on Friday are being warned that excess partying could seriously affect their future job prospects and travel plans.
“The last thing most of the schoolies will be thinking about would be the long-term consequences of their celebrations,” Mr Potts said.
“They’re all out for a good time, but if they are not thinking clearly then we just have to hope their parents take on the message of the possible lifetime consequences of illegal behaviour.”
Mr Potts, director of Potts Lawyers, said the court’s attitude to drunken public violence was hardening.
“If schoolies are arrested, tried and convicted, it could hinder their career and travel prospects for the rest of their lives,” he said.
Mr Potts said he had acted for school leavers in the past who in a drunken rage had been involved in violent brawls.
In one incident a teenager was left brain-damaged and the teen who threw the punch was left with a lifelong criminal history.
“I’ve acted for both males and females who have been raped and people who have been involved in glassings and the repercussions of these incidents stay with them.”
Mr Potts also warned school leavers to avoid volatile over-the-counter herbal party drugs such as DMT, known as black wattle or dreamtime mix, which produced a hallucinogenic effect.
“A drug conviction can seriously affect your ability to travel. You can be refused entry to popular holiday countries, in particular America and Bali,” he said.