In order to sell alcohol, it is necessary to either give a temporary event notice or obtain a premises licence from the local council. ‘Sale’ can include situations where there are donations or a ‘free’ glass of drink as part of an admission price and there are severe penalties for failing to comply with the law. Our solicitors can help you to apply for a licence or give a notice as needed.
Every sale of alcohol must be made or authorised by the holder of a personal licence or the “Premises User” where a Temporary Event Notice is given. We recommend that any authorisation should preferably be in writing, although the law does not specify that this must happen. It does however save a lot of difficulty if an enforcement officer should visit.
The ‘Designated Premises Supervisor’ is an important role and care must be taken when deciding who will fill it. The DPS shoulders a great deal of responsibility to ensure that the law is complied with, often just as much as the holder of the licence.
If you need to apply for a premises or personal licence, please contact us and we can arrange everything for you. We have been involved in obtaining licences for a variety of premises around the country from small restaurants, cafes, takeaways, public houses and historic homes to large outdoor festivals, concerts and other events that cater for 250,000 people. We obtained some of the first 24-hour licences under the new licensing regime and in a few cases, the only 24-hour licences to be granted. The largest licence that we have applied for is for an area of land about 7 miles long and 4 miles wide – probably the largest licensed area in the country – and the smallest about 1m by 2m.
Very significant concerns with regard to the sale of alcohol are the purchase of counterfeit goods or the possibility of a sale to someone who is under age. Substantial penalties can result for both the Premises Licence Holder and the person who sold the alcohol if a purchase is made by a child. The licence itself can also be put in jeopardy. We advise our clients to be on their guard and to develop robust policies that address these issues, and we can be of assistance in this area as well.