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Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000

Proxy purchase

5.Prior to the Act, the law did not prohibit an adult buying alcohol on behalf of a child in off-licensed premises. This has been referred to as “proxy purchase”. The Act creates a new offence of buying or attempting to buy alcohol on behalf of a child in any licensed premises. A similar offence has existed in Scotland since 1976. A defence is available if the adult had no reason to suspect that the child was under 18. A parent who bought alcohol and subsequently gave it to his child would not commit an offence. The offence covers those who act as the agents of children in contracting sales. A parent contracts the sale in his or her own right, and is not acting as the child’s agent or go-between to effect the child’s own purchase.

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