Legal Eagle - three UK mandatory licensing conditions
Since 2014 there have been five mandatory licensing conditions. Three of the conditions apply to all premises licences and club premises certificates which authorise the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises. The additional conditions apply to those licences and certificates which authorise the supply of alcohol for consumption both on and off the premises.
The “responsible person” must ensure compliance with the mandatory conditions. A “responsible person” is defined as:
- In relation to licensed premises:
- – The holder of the premises licence.
- – The designated premises supervisor.
- – Any person aged 18 or over who has been authorised by the holder or supervisor to approve the sale or supply of alcohol by a person aged under 18.
- If a club premises certificate is in force – any member or officer of the club present on the premises in a capacity which enables them to prevent the supply of alcohol.
- It is not necessary for the mandatory conditions to be physically included in a premises licence or club premises certificate; they are treated as applying to every relevant licence or certificate since the condi- tions came into force in 2014.
- The three conditions which apply to premises licences and club premises certificates which autho- rise the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises are summarised below.
The responsible person must ensure that staff do not carry out, arrange or participate in any irresponsible promotion, where the promotion is carried on for the purpose of encouraging the sale of alcohol on the premises. An irresponsible promotion is one of the following activities:
- Drinking games – any game or activity that requires or encourages individuals to drink a quantity of alcohol within a time limit, or to drink as much as possible within a time limit or other- wise, is prohibited. This does not include any “drinking up time”.
- Large quantities of free alcohol or at a fixed or discounted price – the provision of unlimited or unspecified quantities of alcohol for free or at a fixed or discounted price is prohibited if there is a significant risk that such provision would under- mine one of the licensing objectives.
- Prizes and rewards – the sale, supply or provision of free or discounted alcohol or any other item as a prize to encourage or reward the purchase and consumption of alcohol over a period of 24 hours or less, is prohibited if there is a significant risk that such provision would undermine one of the licensing objectives.
- Promotional material – the sale or supply of alco- hol in association with promotional material (such as posters and flyers) on, or in the vicinity of, the premises is prohibited if it can be reasonably considered to condone, encourage or glamorise anti-social behaviour or refer to the effects of drunkenness in any favourable manner.
- “Dentist’s chair” or similar activities – activities that involve alcohol being poured directly into the mouth of the customer by members of staff are prohibited unless they relate to a person who is not able to drink without assistance because of a disability.
Free potable (drinking) water must be provided to customers on request where it is reasonably available.
If the following drinks are sold or supplied for consumption on the premises they must be available in the following measures:
- Beer or cider – half pint.
- Gin, rum, vodka or whisky – 25 ml or 35 ml.
- Still wine in a glass – 125 ml.
In addition, customers must be made aware of the availability of small measures by including details of them on menus, price lists or other printed material which is available to customers on the premises.
If a customer orders one of the drinks mentioned above, but does not specify the measure, they must be made aware that the small measure is available. This condition does not apply to drinks that have been made up in advance ready for sale or supply in a securely closed container.
The remaining two conditions apply to premises with a licence or certificate that authorises the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption on or off the premises.
An age verification policy must apply to the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol.
The policy must require, as a minimum, that individuals who appear to be under the age of 18 years of age must not be served alcohol unless they are able to produce appropriate identification on request. Identification which is accepted as proof of age must bear the holder’s photograph, date of birth, and either a holographic mark or ultraviolet feature. Examples of acceptable identification include passports, photo card driving licences, military identification or proof of age cards which carry the PASS (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) hologram.
Best practice schemes such as “Challenge 21” or “Challenge 25” can form part of an acceptable age verification policy. All relevant staff must be made aware of the existence and content of the age verification policy which applies at the premises.
The supply of alcohol at the premises must be carried on in accordance with the age verification policy.
Sale of alcohol below permitted price
Alcohol must not be sold or supplied for consumption on or off the premises for a price less than the permitted price.
The “permitted price” is calculated by reference to the amount of duty plus VAT. Detailed guidance on how to make the calculation and the calculator to determine permitted prices for each product are available on the Gov.UK website: Click Here.
As their name suggests, the conditions are mandatory and it is essential to ensure compliance with them. Failure to comply with any condition attached to a licence or certificate is a criminal offence, which on conviction is punishable by an unlimited fine or up to six months’ imprisonment. In addition, or as an alternative, breach of a condition may lead to the premises licence or club premises certificate being the subject of a review application.
Fraser Brown Solicitors
84 Friar Lane, Nottingham NG1 6ED
T: 0115 959 7139