Monthly Archives: May 2012

Change the action against under 18’s who purchase alcohol

Change the action against under 18’s who purchase alcohol

The licensed trade, especially the on trade, is always targeted & blamed for underage sales of alcohol yet the people under the age of 18 that commit a criminal act under the Licensing Act 2003 are never, or rarely, penalised.

We believe that if the police took action and/or issued fixed penalty notices (FPNDs) to the under 18s who attempt to purchase alcohol, or consume alcohol on licensed premises, then there would be a reduction in the number of under 18s committing these types of offences.

Many pubs and clubs invest heavily in preventing under age sales and the police and trading standards invest in testing premises, nothing however appears to happening to address the under 18’s that commit the crime. S149 of the Licensing Act 2003 is clear that an individual under 18 commits an offence if they buy or attempt to buy alcohol. If youngsters received FPNDs we are sure the problem licensees face would reduce.

Imagine. A 16 year old gets a FPND for £50. How quickly would the news of that spread? Can 16/17 year olds afford to risk getting a £50 fine?

It would make the licensees’ job a lot easier if this problem was tackled from both sides instead of always going after the easy target. A bar person can make a mistake if they sell alcohol to someone under 18, be it a simple mistake, a lapse in concentration. An under 18 however knows that if they purchase alcohol, attempt to purchase alcohol, or consume alcohol on licensed premises, they commit a criminal offence under the Licensing Act 2003. They clearly, 100%, break the law, no excuses. Similarly a person aged 18 or over commits a criminal offence if they purchase alcohol for someone under 18 to consume.

Action needs to be taken. If you agree please add your name to this petition. If we get 100,000 signatures then this matter could be debated in the House of Commons.