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Licensed Premises Beware - Underage Drinkers

JWP Solicitors Blog - Wakefield, Leeds and Pontefract

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25 January 2016

Licensed Premises Beware - Underage Drinkers

We know it is illegal to sell alcohol to an underage person - that’s the simple bit.

Authorities often do test purchase operations and there are serious consequences for those who fall foul of the law. The Licensing Act 2003 makes it a criminal offence to sell alcohol to an underage person. Anyone who commits such an offence is liable to a fine.  Fines were previously set at a maximum of £5,000 but due to changes in the law, from March 2015 fines are now unlimited.

A more serious matter is if alcohol is sold to a child under 18 from the same premises on three or more occasions within a three month period. In such a situation, the person responsible for the premises could face a criminal prosecution with punishment of a fine was previously up to £20,000.  Again the law has changed from March 2015 and fines are now unlimited and potentially a closure notice could be served. The impact on a business can be huge not only financially, but it can also damage a hard earned reputation.

As the consequences are so severe for all involved it is important that you prevent any sale to underage drinkers.

  • Make sure you give full training to all staff
  •  Keep training and procedures up to date
  • Keep a refusal log
  • Work with the authorities

Protect yourself and your staff from prosecution. Make sure you have an age verification policy.

If you need any assistance with enforcement action being taken against you or with any other licensing matters please contact us.