Licensing Standards Newsletter - February 2017

Welcome and useful contacts

Welcome to our February Newsletter.  Contact Eric Dearie or Raymond Park for licensing standards advice and information, or the licensing Board Team for information on licensing applications; applying for a licence or for an update on your licensing application.

Previous Newsletters

We maintain a library of previous Newsletters which can be accessed via our web page should you wish another look. 

You can sign up via the Council’s Homepage to receive the Newsletter each month to your inbox. 

Licensing Board Statement of Policy 2013-2016

The current policy document can be viewed and downloaded here and each month we look at each section in summary. 

This month we will look at Section14 – Off Sales Premises.  The following is the policy statement summarised:

Display of Alcohol - in respect of premises which sell alcohol solely for consumption off the premises, it will be a condition that displays of alcohol on those premises are confined to a single area. The applicant must clearly identify the alcohol display area on the layout plan and delineate the alcohol display in the layout plan and it will then be for the Licensing Board and the applicant to agree on the defined area. The only exception to the foregoing is that the Board may agree to alcohol being displayed in other areas provided they are inaccessible to the public – e.g. behind the counter, locked display cabinet.

Licensed Hours - in relation to the opening hours of such premises, the Board may impose a terminal hour prior to the 10:00 pm limit defined in the 2005 Act. Each case will be taken on its merits but the Board is concerned to ensure that the licensing objectives relating to crime, children, public health and public nuisance, in particular, are promoted in this area and will consider carefully whether later opening hours, up to 10:00 pm can be justified.

Next time we will look at Section 15 – Outside Areas.

National PubWatch – February Newsletter

The latest newsletter from the National PubWatch can be viewed here.

Licensing Scotland Act 2005 - Offences

The 2005 Act regulates the sale and supply of alcohol and determines what is legal and illegal in this respect.  We thought you may benefit from knowing the offences the police will be looking at in terms of licensed premises. The Premises Licence Holder, the Designated Premises Manager and staff should consider the importance of due diligence within premises.

Each month we will outline in summary a couple of offences.  Click on the links for full details.  For the purposes of the 2005 Act, a child is aged from infant to 15 years and a young person is aged 16 or 17 years:

Sale of alcohol to a child or young person– Section 102

A person who sells alcohol to a child or a young person commits an offence.  It is a defence for a person charged with this offence to show he believed the child or young person to be aged 18 years or over, and either he had taken reasonable steps to establish the child's or young person's age, or no reasonable person could have suspected from the child's or young person's appearance that the child or young person was aged under 18.

See our information on how to take reasonable steps to establish age.

This offence attracts a maximum of fine of £5000 and/or 3 months imprisonment.

Allowing the sale of alcohol to a child or young person – Section 103

Any responsible person who allows alcohol to be sold to a child or a young person on licensed premises commits an offence. A “responsible person” is – the premises manager; the holder of a premises licence or occasional licence; any person having management or control of the premises; or any person aged over 18 who is authorised to sell alcohol on the premises.

This section deals separately with “allowing” the sale of alcohol to a child or young person and is aimed at those responsible for selling alcohol on licensed premises.

This offence attracts a maximum of fine of £5000 and/or 3 months imprisonment.

It is apparent there are circumstances where not having a clear policy can expose the licence holder staff to prosecution.

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS)

We previously advised of this government registration scheme in our Newsletter of August 2015.This article is by way of an update and includes advice to alcohol retailers.

The UK Government has introduced the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme for alcohol wholesalers in order to combat alcohol fraud.  Although the registration element of the scheme will apply to traditional wholesalers, alcohol retailers such as pubs, restaurants, shops and so on are also affected because of greater obligations which will be placed on them to ensure their suppliers are registered with the scheme. 

From 1 April 2017 if you buy alcohol to sell from a UK wholesaler, you’ll need to check that the wholesaler has registered with HMRC and has an AWRS Unique Reference Number (URN).  If you are a trade buyer or wholesaler, again as of 1st April 2017, you will be able to use an online look-up service of approved wholesalers to check that the wholesalers you buy from are registered.

Your questions answered

Q. The police are continually asking for training records at the most inconvenient times.  I heard that police do not have this power and only Licensing Standards Officers can ask.  Can you please clarify.

A:  Mandatory conditions stipulate that staff selling alcohol must have undergone training and a record of that training must be kept on the premises and be produced to a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) on demand.  The 2005 Act states a Constable may at any time enter and inspect licensed premises and any person who intentionally obstructs this exercise commits an offence.  There is a view that the entitlement of the police to inspect doesn’t necessarily cover training records, particularly when training records are actually mentioned in the context of an LSO. So the powers of police directly related to that issue could be described as greyish.  However, if police decide you are obstructing, a charge could prevail.  If officers are asking for training records at extremely busy times perhaps a word with the LSO or local Licensing Sergeant may be best to see if a compromise can be found. 

Q:  I have off duty military people coming into my pub and they are from various parts of the world.  How do I keep up with the age verification requirement.

A: Here are the acceptable proof of age documents.  Included is the Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card).  It is reasonable to expect that service personnel from around the world will carry a similar identity card, however, It is up to the premises licence holder to decide what will be accepted.

Licensing Board meetings dates 2017

Here are the 2017 licensing board meetings dates.

Personal licence refresher training and accredited trainers

The refreshing of personal licences is an ongoing process and information on refresher training and local accredited trainers who offer full and refresher personal licence training courses can be found here. 

Personal licence holders are reminded that failure to undergo refresher training and submit the pass certificate to the licensing board within statutory timescales will result in your personal licence being revoked.   A total of 27 personal licences are due to be revoked at the February Board meeting.  Please contact the Council’s licensing Board Team for more information on what is required.

That’s it for now

Do you need more information?  Or maybe you would like a licensing topic included in the next edition, or, if you are having difficulty opening any of the links - contact us.

Legal Advice

Licensing standards does not provide legal advice or opinion and the above information should not be considered such.  Any legal advice or opinion on licensing matters should be obtained from a licensing solicitor.