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Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001

Section 30: Sale of intoxicating liquor to a person under eighteen

89.Section 30 amends the defences available to persons charged with offences under section 169A of the Licensing Act 1964, involving the sale of alcohol to persons under eighteen years, by requiring the defendant to prove that he believed that the customer was not under eighteen and that either he took all reasonable steps to establish the customer’s age or that nobody could reasonably have suspected from the customer’s appearance that he was under eighteen. The defendant will be deemed to have taken “all reasonable steps” if he asked the customer for evidence of his age. However, if it is proved by the prosecution that the evidence of age was such that no reasonable person would have been convinced by it, the defence would fail. The intention is to ensure that licensees and their staff seek proof of age before making sales. For example, proof of age is available through a variety of voluntary proof of age cards, photo-driving licences and passports. Subsection (2) provides that this particular provision does not apply to any sale of alcohol made before the coming into force of this amendment.

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