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Dry Zone Areas

A ‘dry area’ is a declared area where the consumption, and/or possession of alcohol is prohibited per Section 131 of the Liquor Licensing Act 1997. The purpose of dry area legislation is to curb alcohol-related problems in public areas. Council has various dry areas within its district boundaries, they are:

Mount Barker Dry Area Map

Hahndorf Dry Area Map

Nairne Dry Area Map

Dry Areas are monitored by SA Police. Any concerns regarding persons drinking in a designated dry area are to be reported to SA Police on 13 14 44.


Liquor Licensing legislation states that a "dry area" is an area where the consumption of alcohol or possession of open containers of alcohol is prohibited. This applies even if you are just moving through a Dry Area. Possession of alcohol in an open container does not take account of whether the alcohol is being consumed or not. A person can possess alcohol (eg carton of beer, a bottle of wine or alcohol in an esky) in a Dry Area provided the container is unopened. Unless the contrary intention appears, the prohibition of the possession of liquor in the area does not extend to:

[a]  a person who is genuinely passing through the area if:
(i)  the liquor is in the original container in which it was purchased from the licensed premises; and
(ii) the container has not been opened; or

[b]  a person who has possession of the liquor in the course of carrying on a business or in the course of his or her employment by another person in the course of carrying on a business; or

[c]  a person who is permanently or temporarily residing at premises within the area or on the boundary of the area and who enters the area solely for the purpose of passing through it to enter those premises or who enters the area from those premises for the purpose of leaving the area.

A person who consumes alcohol or has possession of opened containers of alcohol in a Dry Area anytime within a 24 hour time period is guilty of an offence. The offence carries a maximum penalty and offenders are usually issued with an expiation notice plus payment of a Victims of Crime Levy. Dry Areas are monitored by SA Police.

The implementation of the Dry Area areas should reduce the incidence of public drinking and subsequent anti social behaviour associated with intoxication. Dry Areas raise awareness amongst all community members that drinking to excess in public is not a socially acceptable activity. Local residents and visitors alike need to be aware that the Mount Barker District Council is a proactive, socially responsible and family friendly community.

SA Police will monitor the Dry Areas. They should be contacted on all matters relating to the Dry Areas by phoning 13 14 44.

Rules for the Dry Areas only apply to public places, so you may consume alcohol or possess an open container on private property providing that doesn't cross the private boundary and stray into Dry Areas.

A person is not permitted to consume alcohol or possess an open container of alcohol in a privately owned vehicle within a Dry Area.

Dry Areas operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week.