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.