Police powers: Detain intoxicated people
Many young people (under 18) will encounter Police when they are out together. The Police are given special powers to prevent crime and protect the community. It is important to understand what these powers are and how to behave when the Police use these powers to avoid being charged with serious offences.
The power to detain people who are intoxicated in public
The Police have the power to detain people, in a safe place, who are intoxicated in public if they consider that they need to do this to protect the health and safety of that person or others or to prevent serious damage to property.
If you are under the age of 18, then the police can seize drugs, alcohol and inhalants from you whether or not you are intoxicated.
Other police powers
The power to request your personal details: see our fact sheet.
The power to search you, your bags and your car: see our fact sheet.
The power to move you on: see our fact sheet.
The power to move a child to a safe place: see our fact sheet.
The power of arrest: see our fact sheet.
Legal Aid: “Police powers to arrest and detain”
Check out the Youth Legal Service fact sheet: “Rights & responsibilities when encountering Police”.