A country pub in southern Queensland was fined a record $60,000 after a 54-year-old patron died after being dropped home in the back of a ute.

A Queensland pub’s record $60,000 fine is a warning to other hotels and bars.

A 54-year-old man was found dead at his home in August last year after a night drinking at a hotel in the town of Meandarra, more than 300km west of Brisbane.

Bar staff at the Royal Hotel kept serving him even when it was obvious he was severely drunk.

Other patrons drove him home but he was so intoxicated a hotel staff member had to lift him into the back of a ute, an Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation investigation found.

The hotel’s former licensee was fined $60,000 in Dalby Magistrates Court last week for breaches of the Liquor Act. They included encouraging excessive alcohol consumption, failing to maintain a safe environment and allowing liquor to be supplied to an unduly intoxicated person.

It is the highest recorded penalty for the offences.

The bar manager was fined $5000 for allowing the man to be served and the bartender $1000 for serving him.

The Queensland government agency said it had zero tolerance for licensees and bar staff who ignored responsible service of alcohol regulations.

“This serves as a timely reminder to all licensees that irresponsible practices will not be tolerated,” it said in a statement.