Posted: Wednesday, 31 March 2010 @ 15:08
A reminder that 3 of the 5 new mandatory conditions come into force on Tuesday 6 April 2010.
These conditions apply even if they are not printed on the Premises Licence. The new conditions are that free tap water is provided on request where it is reasonably available, that no alcohol is dispensed directly by one person into the mouth of another, and that there are no irresponsible promotions.
The irresponsible promotions condition is of course the one which is likely to cause problems. An irresponsible promotion is one which is designed to encourage the sale or supply of alcohol in a way that carries significant risk of leading to or contributing to crime and disorder, prejudice to public safetey, public nuisance, or harm to children. The irresponsible promotion must amount to :
- a game or activity which encourages drinking a quantity within a time limit or as much as possible
- supply of unlimited or unspecified amounts of alcohol free or for a fixed or discounted fee, other than those associated with a table meal
- supply of free or discounted alcohol or anything else as a prize to encourage the purchase of alcohol over a 24 period or less
- supply of free or discounted alcohol associated with viewing a sporting event where the supply is tied to the outcome
- supply of alcohol associated with promotional posters or flyers which can reasonably be considered to encourage glamorise or agree with anti-social behaviour or drunkeness
But remember the overiding requirement that even if a promotion falls into one of these or a similar category, to be in breach of the condition the offending promotion must be designed to encourage the sale or supply of alcohol and in a manner which carries a significant risk, as mentioned above.
It is likely that in most cases a BOGOF promotion will fall foul, unless as a promotion of a table meal. So a straight buy one pint get one free will be out, as will an all you can drink for £10, but a promotion for a meal which say gives a free glass of wine would be acceptable. Happy Hours will still be acceptable as long as they are not promoted in a way that encourages excessive or rapid drinking.
The DCMS has just issued an updated Guidance on the Licensing Act to include the new conditions. You will find the relevant information in pages 88 to 93.
The last 2 conditions, the requirement to have an age verifiaction policy and smaller measures come into force on 1 October 2010, and I will comment on these later in the summer.
Licensing Law Specialist
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