New conditions for UK alcohol licences : Legal requirements for age verification and drinks measures

1st October sees the impelemtation of new conditions on all Licensing Act 2003 alcohol licences in England and Wales
Sept. 24, 2010 - PRLog -- A week today sees the implementation of two new conditions on all  Licences in England and Wales where there is a sale or supply of alcohol.

Leading on from the conditions that were imposed on all such licences earlier in the year, the new conditions will require :

1.   An age verification policy to be put in place

2.   Alcoholic drinks sold for consumption on the premises must be available in the following measures ;
(i) beer or cider: ½ pint
(ii) gin, rum, vodka or whisky: 25 ml or 35 ml
(iii) still wine in a glass: 125 ml
     Customers must be made aware of the availability of these measures.

Whilst the measures have to be available, this does not mean that alcohol can only be sold in these measures.  ‘Off-Sales’ of alcohol are not caught by the measures rule, but do require the adoption of an age verification policy.

These changes have not been well publicised and it is uncertain whether the conditions will continue in force after the Government have completed their review of the licensing system.

Jon Payne, from Bournemouth and Oxford-based law firm Horsey Lightly Fynn, who specialise in licensing, said “It is not anticipated that licences will be recalled by Councils for amendment and it is therefore important that all staff who are engaged in the sale of alcohol are aware of these changes.  Failure to comply could mean a fine of up to £20,000 and/or 6 months in prison.  We have advised a number of our existing clients on how they can prepare an age verification policy and comply with the law”.

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