Drink and be merry: Licensing conditions over the festive period

Published: 07/11/2014

The festive season will soon be upon us and now is the time to make sure that your licence covers you for holiday plans.

Extending hours
It is surprising how many clients are not aware of what their licence permits them to do. Most licences contain an extension for all licensable activities on New Year’s Eve allowing licensees to trade through to the commencement of normal activities on New Year’s Day. However not all do and therefore it is worth checking. After all you do not want to discover this on New Year’s Eve.

If you want to apply for an extension of the normal permitted hours contained within your licence then a temporary event notice (TEN)* can be sought. If you apply for a standard TEN, ten clear working days’ notice will need to be given. Any objections will be raised at a sub committee meeting heard by the Licensing Authority.

If you apply for a late TEN then only five clear working days’ notice are needed. However, if either the police or environmental health object to the application then the TEN will automatically be refused. Therefore, if you think that your application may be controversial it would be sensible to apply in good time for a standard TEN and be prepared to counter any objections. It is always worth speaking to the police and environmental health before submitting any applications to obtain their views.

*A TEN can last for up to 168 hours (7 days) and the premises can benefit from up to 21 TEN’s per calendar year.

Drinks promotions
The revised conditions for dealing with drinks promotions took effect on 1 October 2014. A drinks promotion is now deemed to be irresponsible only if carried on in a manner which carries a significant risk of undermining one of the licensing objectives. Namely:

• prevention of crime and disorder
• public safety
• prevention of public nuisance
• protection of children from harm.

It is now commonly known that it is illegal to dispense alcohol directly into a person’s mouth. Also outlawed are:

  • games or activities which encourage people to drink a quantity of alcohol within a certain time limit (excludes drinking up time) or to drink as much alcohol as possible
  • selling alcohol in association with any posters/flyers in the vicinity of the premises which can reasonably be considered to condone, encourage or glamorise anti-social behaviour, or the effects of drunkenness, in a favourable manner.
However, drinks promotions which are commonly run which discount alcohol on a given night of the week will only be deemed to be irresponsible if carried out in a manner which carries a significant risk of undermining the licensing objectives.

We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and urge all those out socialising over the festive season to do so in a safe and responsible manner.

This article by Associate, Julie Gowland is featured in our Winter 2014 edition of Food for Thought.

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