In order to become a ‘DPS’, it is first necessary to obtain a personal licence. The role of DPS is an important one in premises that sell alcohol and carries with it an element of responsibility.
The role of the DPS is not clearly defined and the legislation simply refers to the DPS as the person who is specified as the “premises supervisor” on the licence. The Secretary of State’s guidance states that “The designated premises supervisor is the key person who will usually be charged with day to day management of the premises by the premises licence holder, including the prevention of disorder”.
The .gov website explains that “The person chosen to be designated premises supervisor (DPS) will act as primary contact for local government and the police. They must understand the social issues and potential problems associated with the sale of alcohol, and also have a good understanding of the business itself. While they need not be on site at all times, they are expected to be involved enough with the business to be able to act as its representative, and they must be contactable at all times.”
With a lack of clear requirements in the legislation, the role of the DPS is sometimes extended beyond that which seems to have been envisaged – to provide a contact point for enforcement agencies so that any problems can be dealt with swiftly.
In some types of premises, such as village halls, it is possible to dispense with the need for a DPS, although we recommend that there should still be an identifiable person who takes responsibility for alcohol sales.
The police can object to the appointment of a DPS, but only in exceptional circumstances. We have experience of dealing with such objections and providing representation in hearings before the local authority and have a high success rate in achieving the appointment.
A DPS can resign from post and this will mean that a replacement has to be found urgently or alcohol sales must cease. We are able to turn around applications for a new DPS to be appointed with immediate effect if needed.
For more information or guidance, contact one of our solicitors.