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Underage Sales: Penalties for serving underage customers

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From 25 April 2012, this year penalties for serving underage customers (persistently selling alcohol to persons under the age of 18) have been increased.

The maximum fine has been increased from £10,000.00 to £20,000.00.

The Police were able to offer Licensees a period of suspension of up to 48 hours in lieu of prosecution.  The maximum period of suspension has now been increased to 336 hours (14 days).

The consequence of this is if premises are caught selling alcohol to persons under the age of 18 two times in a three month period they could face a fine and possible suspension of the Premises Licence or, as an alternative, a period of closure of up to 14 days.

These powers are in addition to separate powers which the Authorities have to prosecute the individual making the sale or to call for a review of the Premises Licence.

It is essential that Licensees ensure that they have proper staff training which is regularly updated to ensure that staff are aware of the risks, that they don’t serve alcohol to persons under the age of 18 and to provide a defence for the Licensee should one of their staff, despite training, make a sale.

Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Cochrane on 01332 226151.

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