With updates to alcohol licensing laws being phased in, licensees need to know whether they and their staff are complying with new legislation.
It is now illegal to:
- Participate in irresponsible drinks promotions
- Encouraging anyone to drink a certain amount of alcohol in a time limit or as quickly as possible (so yards of ale drinking games are now illegal)
- Dentist chair drinking games are illegal (made famous by the film Coyote Ugly and Gazza and Teddy Sherringham’s goal celebrations in Euro 1996)
- Happy hours are now on dodgy ground. If you have ridiculously cheap drinks for a single hour, there is a danger customers will neck as much as possible in an hour – which would undermine the licensing objectives.
Losing your premises licence
Under the old laws, anyone living or working in the vicinity of your premises, could apply to the licensing authority to have your premises licence revoked. The new laws remove the link to the vicinity. This means anyone can submit an application for revocation if any of your staff are breaching your premises licence or undermining the licensing objectives.
The licensing objectives are:
- Protection of children from harm
- Promotion of public safety
- Prevention of public nuisance
- Prevention of crime and disorder
This means it is even more important to deal with complaints properly and ensure all members of staff are fully trained and up to date on the licensing laws to protect your premises licence. Without it, you cannot sell alcohol.
The other legal change is that hospitals can now apply to the licensing authority to revoke licences. A case is yet to be reported, but if an A&E department is full of a particular bar’s customers every weekend, the local consultant might just try to do something about it.