A household survey of 1160 Western Australian adults was used as a basis for exploring drinkers' reports about the settings in which they drank alcohol and their experiences of alcohol related harm. Of the 873 drinkers identified, 7.9% had experienced some form of acute alcohol related harm over the previous 3 months. Violent incidents were the most common of these and drink-driving offences the least. Such harm was significantly more likely among drinkers who variously drank 'heavily', were male, single, under 25 years of age and/or who drank on licensed premises. Regression analyses revealed that even when demographic characteristics of the drinkers were controlled for licensed premises were significantly more likely to be the settings used prior to harm occurring. Bar staff continuing to serve 'obviously intoxicated' customers was the most powerful predictor of harm. Premises which offered discounted drinks or permitted crowding also tended to be those where intoxication was permitted but these variables were not directly associated with an increased risk of harm. These findings lend further weight to the view that prevention efforts should focus on licensed drinking environments and, in particular, the practice of continuing to serve obviously intoxicated customers.