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Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Act 2018

Section 2: Offences

14.This section makes it an offence for a person who is an alcohol retailer to supply alcohol, or to authorise the supply of alcohol, from qualifying premises in Wales, to a person in Wales, at a selling price below the applicable minimum price. The terms “alcohol retailer”, “supply of alcohol” and “qualifying premises” have a particular meaning for this purpose as set out in sections 3 and 4.

15.Subsection (2) provides a defence for a person charged with the offence to show that they took reasonable steps and exercised due diligence to avoid committing it. If the defence is relied on, subsection (3) clarifies where the burden of proof lies. If sufficient evidence is raised, the burden of disproving the defence beyond reasonable doubt rests with the prosecution.

16.Subsection (4) provides that it does not matter for the purposes of the offence, whether the authorisation of the supply of alcohol takes place in Wales or elsewhere. So, for instance, if an alcohol retailer is in England when he or she authorises a supply of alcohol below the applicable minimum price from qualifying premises in Wales, and to a person in Wales, that retailer will (subject to any available defence) commit an offence.

17.This section also amends Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act 2003 so as to add an offence committed under the Act to the list of “relevant offences” contained in that Schedule.

18.The significance of inclusion within the list of ”relevant offences” is that conviction for such an offence, unless spent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 can be taken into consideration by a licensing authority when making decisions on granting, revoking or suspending personal licences under the Licensing Act 2003. In Wales, a licensing authority is the council of a county or county borough.

19.The Licensing Act 2003 also places certain duties on persons convicted of a “relevant offence” to notify the relevant licensing authority of such a conviction as soon as reasonably practicable (and provides that a person commits an offence if they fail without reasonable excuse to comply with these requirements). Likewise, the Licensing Act 2003 places certain obligations on the court in relation to “relevant offences” and provides that a court may also order the forfeiture of a personal licence or its suspension for a period not exceeding six months.

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the National Assembly for Wales.

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