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Licensing Act 2003

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Licensing Act 2003, Cross Heading: Children and alcohol is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 08 May 2021. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Children and alcoholE+W

145Unaccompanied children prohibited from certain premisesE+W

(1)A person to whom subsection (3) applies commits an offence if—

(a)knowing that relevant premises are within subsection (4), he allows an unaccompanied child to be on the premises at a time when they are open for the purposes of being used for the supply of alcohol for consumption there, or

(b)he allows an unaccompanied child to be on relevant premises at a time between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. when the premises are open for the purposes of being used for the supply of alcohol for consumption there.

(2)For the purposes of this section—

(a)child” means an individual aged under 16,

(b)a child is unaccompanied if he is not in the company of an individual aged 18 or over.

(3)This subsection applies—

(a)to any person who works at the premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which authorises him to request the unaccompanied child to leave the premises,

(b)in the case of licensed premises, to—

(i)the holder of a premises licence in respect of the premises, and

(ii)the designated premises supervisor (if any) under such a licence,

(c)in the case of premises in respect of which a club premises certificate has effect, to any member or officer of the club which holds the certificate who is present on the premises in a capacity which enables him to make such a request, and

(d)in the case of premises which may be used for a permitted temporary activity by virtue of Part 5, to the premises user in relation to the temporary event notice in question.

(4)Relevant premises are within this subsection if—

(a)they are exclusively or primarily used for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, or

(b)they are open for the purposes of being used for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises by virtue of Part 5 (permitted temporary activities) and, at the time the temporary event notice in question has effect, they are exclusively or primarily used for such supplies.

(5)No offence is committed under this section if the unaccompanied child is on the premises solely for the purpose of passing to or from some other place to or from which there is no other convenient means of access or egress.

(6)Where a person is charged with an offence under this section by reason of his own conduct it is a defence that—

(a)he believed that the unaccompanied child was aged 16 or over or that an individual accompanying him was aged 18 or over, and

(b)either—

(i)he had taken all reasonable steps to establish the individual’s age, or

(ii)nobody could reasonably have suspected from the individual’s appearance that he was aged under 16 or, as the case may be, under 18.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (6), a person is treated as having taken all reasonable steps to establish an individual’s age if—

(a)he asked the individual for evidence of his age, and

(b)the evidence would have convinced a reasonable person.

(8)Where a person (“the accused”) is charged with an offence under this section by reason of the act or default of some other person, it is a defence that the accused exercised all due diligence to avoid committing it.

(9)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(10)In this section “supply of alcohol” means—

(a)the sale by retail of alcohol, or

(b)the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of the club.

146Sale of alcohol to childrenE+W

(1)A person commits an offence if he sells alcohol to an individual aged under 18.

(2)A club commits an offence if alcohol is supplied by it or on its behalf—

(a)to, or to the order of, a member of the club who is aged under 18, or

(b)to the order of a member of the club, to an individual who is aged under 18.

(3)A person commits an offence if he supplies alcohol on behalf of a club—

(a)to, or to the order of, a member of the club who is aged under 18, or

(b)to the order of a member of the club, to an individual who is aged under 18.

(4)Where a person is charged with an offence under this section by reason of his own conduct it is a defence that—

(a)he believed that the individual was aged 18 or over, and

(b)either—

(i)he had taken all reasonable steps to establish the individual’s age, or

(ii)nobody could reasonably have suspected from the individual’s appearance that he was aged under 18.

(5)For the purposes of subsection (4), a person is treated as having taken all reasonable steps to establish an individual’s age if—

(a)he asked the individual for evidence of his age, and

(b)the evidence would have convinced a reasonable person.

(6)Where a person (“the accused”) is charged with an offence under this section by reason of the act or default of some other person, it is a defence that the accused exercised all due diligence to avoid committing it.

(7)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

147Allowing the sale of alcohol to childrenE+W

(1)A person to whom subsection (2) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows the sale of alcohol on relevant premises to an individual aged under 18.

(2)This subsection applies to a person who works at the premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which authorises him to prevent the sale.

(3)A person to whom subsection (4) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows alcohol to be supplied on relevant premises by or on behalf of a club—

(a)to or to the order of a member of the club who is aged under 18, or

(b)to the order of a member of the club, to an individual who is aged under 18.

(4)This subsection applies to—

(a)a person who works on the premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which authorises him to prevent the supply, and

(b)any member or officer of the club who at the time of the supply is present on the relevant premises in a capacity which enables him to prevent it.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

[F1147APersistently selling alcohol to childrenE+W

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if—

(a)on [F22 or more different occasions] within a period of 3 consecutive months alcohol is unlawfully sold on the same premises to an individual aged under 18;

(b)at the time of each sale the premises were either licensed premises or premises authorised to be used for a permitted temporary activity by virtue of Part 5; and

(c)that person was a responsible person in relation to the premises at each such time.

(2)For the purposes of this section alcohol sold to an individual aged under 18 is unlawfully sold to him if—

(a)the person making the sale believed the individual to be aged under 18; or

(b)that person did not have reasonable grounds for believing the individual to be aged 18 or over.

(3)For the purposes of subsection (2) a person has reasonable grounds for believing an individual to be aged 18 or over only if—

(a)he asked the individual for evidence of his age and that individual produced evidence that would have convinced a reasonable person; or

(b)nobody could reasonably have suspected from the individual's appearance that he was aged under 18.

(4)A person is, in relation to premises and a time, a responsible person for the purposes of subsection (1) if, at that time, he is—

(a)the person or one of the persons holding a premises licence in respect of the premises; or

(b)the person or one of the persons who is the premises user in respect of a temporary event notice by reference to which the premises are authorised to be used for a permitted temporary activity by virtue of Part 5.

(5)The individual to whom the sales mentioned in subsection (1) are made may, but need not be, the same in each case.

(6)The same sale may not be counted in respect of different offences for the purpose—

(a)of enabling the same person to be convicted of more than one offence under this section; or

(b)of enabling the same person to be convicted of both an offence under this section and an offence under section 146 or 147.

(7)In determining whether an offence under this section has been committed, the following shall be admissible as evidence that there has been an unlawful sale of alcohol to an individual aged under 18 on any premises on any occasion—

(a)the conviction of a person for an offence under section 146 in respect of a sale to that individual on those premises on that occasion;

(b)the giving to a person of a caution (within the meaning of Part 5 of the Police Act 1997) in respect of such an offence; or

(c)the payment by a person of a fixed penalty under Part 1 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 in respect of such a sale.

(8)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to [F3a fine].

(9)The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (8) to increase the maximum fine for the time being specified in that subsection.

147BOrder suspending a licence in respect of offence under section 147AE+W

(1)Where the holder of a premises licence is convicted of an offence under section 147A in respect of sales on the premises to which the licence relates, the court may order that so much of the licence as authorises the sale by retail of alcohol on those premises is suspended for a period not exceeding three months.

(2)Where more than one person is liable for an offence under section 147A relating to the same sales, no more than one order under subsection (1) may be made in relation to the premises in question in respect of convictions by reference to those sales.

(3)Subject to subsections (4) and (5), an order under subsection (1) comes into force at the time specified by the court that makes it.

(4)Where a magistrates' court makes an order under subsection (1), it may suspend its coming into force pending an appeal.

(5)Section 130 (powers of appellate court to suspend section 129 order) applies (with the omission of subsection (9)) where an order under subsection (1) is made on conviction of an offence under section 147A as it applies where an order under section 129 is made on conviction of a relevant offence in Part 6.]

Textual Amendments

F4148Sale of liqueur confectionery to children under 16E+W

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Textual Amendments

149Purchase of alcohol by or on behalf of childrenE+W

(1)An individual aged under 18 commits an offence if—

(a)he buys or attempts to buy alcohol, or

(b)where he is a member of a club—

(i)alcohol is supplied to him or to his order by or on behalf of the club, as a result of some act or default of his, or

(ii)he attempts to have alcohol supplied to him or to his order by or on behalf of the club.

(2)But subsection (1) does not apply where the individual buys or attempts to buy the alcohol at the request of—

(a)a constable, or

(b)a weights and measures inspector,

who is acting in the course of his duty.

(3)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he buys or attempts to buy alcohol on behalf of an individual aged under 18, or

(b)where he is a member of a club, on behalf of an individual aged under 18 he—

(i)makes arrangements whereby alcohol is supplied to him or to his order by or on behalf of the club, or

(ii)attempts to make such arrangements.

(4)A person (“the relevant person”) commits an offence if—

(a)he buys or attempts to buy alcohol for consumption on relevant premises by an individual aged under 18, or

(b)where he is a member of a club—

(i)by some act or default of his, alcohol is supplied to him, or to his order, by or on behalf of the club for consumption on relevant premises by an individual aged under 18, or

(ii)he attempts to have alcohol so supplied for such consumption.

(5)But subsection (4) does not apply where—

(a)the relevant person is aged 18 or over,

(b)the individual is aged 16 or 17,

(c)the alcohol is beer, wine or cider,

(d)its purchase or supply is for consumption at a table meal on relevant premises, and

(e)the individual is accompanied at the meal by an individual aged 18 or over.

(6)Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (3) or (4) it is a defence that he had no reason to suspect that the individual was aged under 18.

(7)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction—

(a)in the case of an offence under subsection (1), to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale, and

(b)in the case of an offence under subsection (3) or (4), to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

150Consumption of alcohol by childrenE+W

(1)An individual aged under 18 commits an offence if he knowingly consumes alcohol on relevant premises.

(2)A person to whom subsection (3) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows the consumption of alcohol on relevant premises by an individual aged under 18.

(3)This subsection applies—

(a)to a person who works at the premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which authorises him to prevent the consumption, and

(b)where the alcohol was supplied by a club to or to the order of a member of the club, to any member or officer of the club who is present at the premises at the time of the consumption in a capacity which enables him to prevent it.

(4)Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply where—

(a)the individual is aged 16 or 17,

(b)the alcohol is beer, wine or cider,

(c)its consumption is at a table meal on relevant premises, and

(d)the individual is accompanied at the meal by an individual aged 18 or over.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction—

(a)in the case of an offence under subsection (1), to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale, and

(b)in the case of an offence under subsection (2), to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

151Delivering alcohol to childrenU.K.

(1)A person who works on relevant premises in any capacity, whether paid or unpaid, commits an offence if he knowingly delivers to an individual aged under 18—

(a)alcohol sold on the premises, or

(b)alcohol supplied on the premises by or on behalf of a club to or to the order of a member of the club.

(2)A person to whom subsection (3) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows anybody else to deliver to an individual aged under 18 alcohol sold on relevant premises.

(3)This subsection applies to a person who works on the premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which authorises him to prevent the delivery of the alcohol.

(4)A person to whom subsection (5) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows anybody else to deliver to an individual aged under 18 alcohol supplied on relevant premises by or on behalf of a club to or to the order of a member of the club.

(5)This subsection applies—

(a)to a person who works on the premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which authorises him to prevent the supply, and

(b)to any member or officer of the club who at the time of the supply in question is present on the premises in a capacity which enables him to prevent the supply.

(6)Subsections (1), (2) and (4) do not apply where—

(a)the alcohol is delivered at a place where the buyer or, as the case may be, person supplied lives or works, or

(b)the individual aged under 18 works on the relevant premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which involves the delivery of alcohol, or

(c)the alcohol is sold or supplied for consumption on the relevant premises.

(7)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

152Sending a child to obtain alcoholE+W

(1)A person commits an offence if he knowingly sends an individual aged under 18 to obtain—

(a)alcohol sold or to be sold on relevant premises for consumption off the premises, or

(b)alcohol supplied or to be supplied by or on behalf of a club to or to the order of a member of the club for such consumption.

(2)For the purposes of this section, it is immaterial whether the individual aged under 18 is sent to obtain the alcohol from the relevant premises or from other premises from which it is delivered in pursuance of the sale or supply.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply where the individual aged under 18 works on the relevant premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which involves the delivery of alcohol.

(4)Subsection (1) also does not apply where the individual aged under 18 is sent by—

(a)a constable, or

(b)a weights and measures inspector,

who is acting in the course of his duty.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

153Prohibition of unsupervised sales by childrenE+W

(1)A responsible person commits an offence if on any relevant premises he knowingly allows an individual aged under 18 to make on the premises—

(a)any sale of alcohol, or

(b)any supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to or to the order of a member of the club,

unless the sale or supply has been specifically approved by that or another responsible person.

(2)But subsection (1) does not apply where—

(a)the alcohol is sold or supplied for consumption with a table meal,

(b)it is sold or supplied in premises which are being used for the service of table meals (or in a part of any premises which is being so used), and

(c)the premises are (or the part is) not used for the sale or supply of alcohol otherwise than to persons having table meals there and for consumption by such a person as an ancillary to his meal.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

(4)In this section “responsible person” means—

(a)in relation to licensed premises—

(i)the holder of a premises licence in respect of the premises,

(ii)the designated premises supervisor (if any) under such a licence, or

(iii)any individual aged 18 or over who is authorised for the purposes of this section by such a holder or supervisor,

(b)in relation to premises in respect of which there is in force a club premises certificate, any member or officer of the club present on the premises in a capacity which enables him to prevent the supply in question, and

(c)in relation to premises which may be used for a permitted temporary activity by virtue of Part 5—

(i)the premises user, or

(ii)any individual aged 18 or over who is authorised for the purposes of this section by the premises user.

154Enforcement role for weights and measures authoritiesE+W

(1)It is the duty of every local weights and measures authority in England and Wales to enforce within its area the provisions of sections 146 and 147, so far as they apply to sales of alcohol made on or from premises to which the public have access.

(2)A weights and measures inspector may make, or authorise any person to make on his behalf, such purchases of goods as appear expedient for the purpose of determining whether those provisions are being complied with.

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