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.


About mkheng

Kurnia Licensing & Training Consultants deal with all aspects of the LIcensing Act 2003. We deal with all types of applications for alcohol and entertainment licences and deal with all types of hearing from committee to Judicial Review. We are a Grade 1 BIIAB accredited training center delivering the suite of BIIAB qualifications. View all posts by mkheng

5 responses to “Change the action against under 18’s who purchase alcohol

  • Tom Brookes

    Sorry I don’t agree with you, kids are kids and will always try to push boundarys. Your the qualified people, it’s up to you to check id if you think someone is under age.

    • mkheng

      (You’re). Licensees do indeed check IDs and do all they can to stop this problem but the under 18s also need to be tackled. Your comment is bit like saying don’t fine drivers for speeding as a speed limit is there to be challenged and if you break a speed limit well done. At the end of the day a crime is a crime and should be addressed.

  • Martyn Cooling

    I agree. And more importantly the shift in focus for underage sales needs to move from the on-trade to the off-trade. I’m pretty sure research would show greater underage sales from off-licenses and corner shops if conducted correctly. Taking into account, the amount of persons consuming the purchased products, likely 4 per purchase.

  • manwiddicombe

    What an utterly ridiculous proposition. The only way to enforce it would be a state employee (council or police) standing in every licensed premises overseeing every transaction or attempted transaction.

    Why not campaign for the law to be made more reasonable, to reduce the size of the fines for accidentally selling to under age drinkers, to allow landlords, publicans and licensees to decide for themselves who to allow in their premises? That’s something that would be worthy of supporting.

    • mkheng

      I cannot see why you think this to be rediculous. The under 18’s are getting away scot free. I am not suggesting for one minute licensees and staff be let off and irresponsible servers need to be punished like everyone else. What I am saying is that there should be a level playing field. If the under 18’s were also targeted then hopefully less under 18’s would attempt to purchase alcohol. At present if under 18’s are not prosecuted then there is no reason for them not to try and purchase alcohol.

      Most bars have CCTV on their bars. When our staff sieze fake ID from under 18’s attempting to buy alcohol we pass a copy of the ID to the police. The fake ID and CCTV both are sufficient evidence to procecute an under 18 but nothing is ever done. Why we ask?

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