Category Archives: Premises Licences

Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates – Mandatory Conditions

Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates – Mandatory Conditions

Three new mandatory conditions were added to Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates in April 2010 with a further two conditions added on 1st October 2010.

The conditions identify the “responsible person” as being the person who will ensure that the conditions are followed within the licensed premises. This may be the holder of the Premises Licence, the Designated Premises Supervisor or anybody over the age of 18 who has been authorised for the sale of alcohol.

Premises Licences – Mandatory Condition One:

That responsible persons shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that staff on relevant premises do not carry out, arrange or participate in any irresponsible promotions in relation to the premises.
relevant premises – on-licensed premises such as pub, hotel or bar, members club (this does not apply to off-licensed premises)
irresponsible promotion – any activity or offer which encourages customers to drink in a way which could have the effect of breaching one or more of the licensing objectives ie, all you can drink for £10, ladies drink free all night, providing free or discounted alcohol on the outcome of any sporting event or competition, any form of speed drinking game etc.
This would not prevent customers from choosing to drink a yard of ale for example but it would prevent you from organising a yard of ale competition.

Getting customers to drink up at usual closing time would not be classed as irresponsible.

So any promotion which encourages or glamorises anti-social behaviour or refers to getting drunk in any positive way could be considered “irresponsible”.

Premises Licences – Mandatory Condition Two:

No alcohol shall be dispensed directly by one person into the mouth of another (other than where the other person is unable to drink without assistance by reason of disability).

This condition means that you cannot run activities that involve alcohol being poured directly into the mouth of a customer (so called “dentist chair drinking”). You must not allow other companies or individuals to do this on the premises either.

(this does not include where another person is not able to drink without assistance because of a disability)

Mandatory Condition Three:

Free tap water must be provided on request to customers where it is reasonably available in the premises.

It is important to note that this condition relates to “customers” and not simply anyone who walks into licensed premises and wants free tap water. “Reasonably available” is a question of fact – it would not be reasonable to expect free tap water if the water supply had been temporarily suspended or failed in any way.

Premises Licences – Mandatory Condition Four:

The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder shall ensure that an age verification policy applies to the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol.

The policy must be written and require challenged individuals to produce on request, before they are sold alcohol, identification bearing a photograph, date of birth and hologram mark – Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 would comply with this condition).

There are particular problems with remote off sales. There are many companies which offer specialist sales of alcohol on-line as well as on-line supermarket systems. A customer may order a weekly shop and include alcohol in the order which could presents difficulties in confirming that the customer is over 18.

Premises Licences – Mandatory Condition Five:

The responsible person shall ensure that where the following alcohol drinks are sold or supplied for consumption on the premises it is available to customers in the following measures

(a) beer or cider – ½ pint
(b) gin, rum, vodka or whisky – 25ml or 35ml
(c) still wine in a glass – 125ml

customers need to be made aware of these measures.

Many premises already make smaller measures available but if yours do not you now have to makes sure that the measures above are “made available” for customers to buy.

“made available” could mean listing them on drinks menus or being informed by staff when ordering their drinks.

Hotels particularly need to take note

You can still serve larger sizes such as 250 ml

You can offer pre-packaged drinks too.

A good suggestions is that shot glasses in smaller/larger measures are available rather than replacing all your optics and glasses!

These conditions will apply to every Premises Licence which authorises the sale of alcohol from the point they come into force. All Licences which require amendment by other means (such as change of DPS or Premises Licence Holder) will now include the new mandatory conditions.

Any breaches of these new mandatory conditions could result in a Review of your Licence and a fine of £20,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment. It is expected that local Councils will take any breach of these new mandatory conditions very seriously. Simply being unaware of your obligations under the Licensing Act 2003 would not be a good enough excuse.

The real meaning of these conditions will no doubt be determined by the Courts in the future but please contact us if you have any questions.

Please contact us email, if you need any assistance with any of the matters referred to above.

What happens if I breach my Premises Licence Conditions?

What happens if I breach my Premises Licence Conditions?

When a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate is granted offences can be committed if the premises are operated outside the licensable activities granted.  Examples would include selling alcohol outside the hours stated on the Premises Licence or breach of any condition stated on the Licence.
There are also specific guidelines about the presence of a Personal Licence Holder on site.   All sales of alcohol must be made or authorised by a Personal Licence Holder.

It would be good practice to ensure that the persons authorised to sell alcohol are clearly identified by either a letter of delegated authority from the Designated Premises Supervisor or other such document as specified by the Premises Licence Holder.  This document will go a long way to show due diligence and knowledge of the Licensing laws although it may not convince all authorities.
There should also be in place sensible arrangements for monitoring the staff by the Personal Licence Holder of those authorised to make sales on his or behalf on a regular basis.

The offences above carry a period of imprisonment of six months or a fine of £20,000 or both. There is a defence available of due diligence i.e. that reasonable steps had been taken to avoid commission of the offence.

It is also an offence to possess alcohol with the intention to sell it (without a Licence).
This offence again applies to all types of premises and carries a fine of up to £500

Please contact us by email, if you need any assistance with any of the matters referred to above.

What is a Late Night Levy?

What is a Late Night Levy?

A Licensing Authority can introduce a Late Night Levy if it considers it is ‘appropriate’ to raise revenue in relation to the costs of policing crime and disorder related to the sale and supply of alcohol in a specified area between midnight and 6 am.
The Licensing Authority (Council) can specify the time (sometime between midnight and 6 am) which if any premises is authorised to sell alcohol they will be liable to pay the Late Night Levy whether or not they choose to do so, ie, after 1 am. The amount of the Levy depends on the rateable value of your property and varies enormously from £299 to many thousands of pounds.
Even if you trade for only one day a week beyond the “specified time” you are liable to pay the full Levy.
If a Council has introduced the Late Night Levy the fee is payable 14 days after the grant of any Premises Licence, Club Premises Certificate or Variation beyond the “specified time” and is payable on an annual basis on the same day each year. If the Levy is not paid by the due date then similar to the payment of the annual fee, the Premises Licence can be suspended.
Councils do have a discretion to allow certain type of licensed premises to be exempt from the Late Night Levy provided the Licence contains certain conditions. For example premises such as hotels, theatres and country village pubs (which are within a designated rural settlement with a population of less than 3,000) may be exempted.
New Year’s Eve is included as a discretionary exemption.
It is the intention that the Council would then use part of the Levy (30% maximum after the admin and management of the system are deducted) for the management of the night-time economy, and for services that prevent and deal with alcohol related crime and disorder.

Please contact us by email, if you need any assistance with any of the matters referred to above.

What is a Review of a Premises Licence?

What is a Review of a Premises Licence?

A Review of a Premises Licence or Club Premises Certificate is an important but little known part of the Licensing Act 2003.  Any licensed premises operating in a way which does not promote the licensing objectives can be brought to the attention of the Licensing Authority by way of a Review.
The licensing objectives are:
·         the prevention of crime and disorder
·         the promotion of public safety
·         the prevention of public nuisance
·         the protection of children from harm

Examples of actions which could result in a Review may include continuous noise from music escaping from premises late at night and causing disturbance to local residents and/or businesses or repeated sales of alcohol to under age persons.  In these examples the first would be a contravention of the public nuisance objective and the second the contravention of the protection of children from harm.

The parties able to call a review are ‘responsible authorities’, (such as the Police, Fire Authority, Trading Standards, etc), and persons who live or have a business who are affected by the operation of the premises.  A Review Application may be made at any time and the person or authority making the Application must also inform the other responsible authorities of the Application.  Details of those authorities are available at each individual Licensing Authority.

Once an Application for a Review has been made the Licensing Authority will decide whether the reasons for the Review are relevant to the premises.  The Licensing Authority must then advertise the Application by placing a notice at or near the premises subject of the Application.  The Application for Review will nearly always result in a hearing before the Licensing Committee.  However, it may be possible for all parties to reach an agreement about improvements to the way the premises are run and the Licensing Authority may agree to waive the need for a hearing.

Following consideration of the Application the Licensing Committee may do one of the following:

·         Decide that no action is necessary to promote the Licensing Objectives
·         Modify or add conditions to the Licence.
·         Exclude a licensable activity from the Licence.
·         Remove the designated premises supervisor (DPS).
·         Suspend the Licence for a period of up to three months.
·         Revoke the Licence.

There is a right of Appeal if an applicant, responsible authority or interested party is unhappy with the decision of the Licensing Committee.  An Appeal may be made to the Magistrates Court within twenty-one days of written notification of the Licensing Committee’s decision.

Please contact us by email, if you need any assistance with any of the matters referred to above.