The Licensing Act 2003 introduced a system to regulate the sale and supply of alcohol, the provision of entertainment to the public and the provision of late night refreshment between the hours of 11pm and 5am. This guide offers you an overview of the Act as well as putting the sense in licensing.
Under the Act, there is a statutory requirement that sales of alcohol can only be made from premises that have been granted a premises licence. In addition, all premises MUST have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) appointed who is also a personal licence holder. Sales can only be made or authorised by a personal licence holder.
There are 4 governing principles of the Law or licencing objectives which should be actively promoted:
- The prevention of crime & disorder
- Public safety
- The prevention of public nuisance
- The protection of children from harm
The penalties for not having a licence or failure to comply with the conditions are severe:
A maximum fine of £20,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment
It is a criminal offence for any person to sell or supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 – there are NO exceptions to this. Those who commit this offence could be fined up to £5000. The holder of the licence may also have their licence reviewed which could result in alcohol sales being suspended for three months or worse – permanently!
Your local authority or the police may, from time to time, send under 18’s to your premises to attempt to buy alcohol. They will check for compliance and may not tell the truth when asked their age – this is called test purchasing and you must ask for approved proof of age if you believe the person is underage.
Acceptable proof of age schemes:
- Photo Driving Licence
P.A.S.S credited forms of I.D. such as:
- ‘Prove It’ Portman Card
- Citizen Card
All on-site staff must be adequately trained initially and if they do not understand their responsibility, then they should not be authorised to sell alcohol – they and you are at risk of prosecution for making unauthorised sales. Once trained, ensure refresher training is undertaken regularly and test staff knowledge.
Refusal to serve customers
Other than the obvious age issues, customers must also be refused service or asked to leave if they appear to be drunk or are violent or disorderly. Every member of staff has a responsibility not to allow this sort of behavior on the premises and if a customer refuses to leave then the police should be called. If you refuse to serve anyone, you must record this in a refusal book (example is included on this website) and this should be kept so that it is readily available to all staff members.
Top tips for selling alcohol
- Only staff authorised by the DPS are permitted to sell alcohol
- Consumption of alcohol is not allowed on the premises
- Ensure all staff are trained properly
- Challenge anybody attempting to buy alcohol who appears to be under 21 to prove that they are over 18 by producing acceptable proof of age
- Do not sell to anybody who is, or appears to be drunk
- Do not sell to anybody who is purchasing for somebody who appears to be drunk
- Record all refusals in the Refusals Book.
- Advise senior members of staff of any refusals
- If in doubt of any of the above, refuse the sale.
Obtaining an alcohol licence
We are offering a great opportunity to retailers who would like to investigate obtaining an alcohol licence. We at Palmer and Harvey can help you apply for your licence with our Licensing Scheme and we can provide you with free stock to help offset the costs (terms and conditions apply).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in finding out more.
Download the relevent selling alcohol documents here:
|Challenge 25||2nd January 2014||702.68K||Download|
|Checking I D||2nd January 2014||39.94K||Download|
|Refusal Log||2nd January 2014||13.21K||Download|
|Under 18 Poster||2nd January 2014||20.45K||Download|