Premises Licence

I have a member of staff who is under 18 years. Can they serve alcohol in a restaurant or bar?

It is an offence under the Licensing Act 2003 for a ‘Responsible Person’ to knowingly allow someone under 18 to sell alcohol unless that sale has been specifically approved by a ‘Responsible Person’ (except the one exemption mentioned below).

‘Responsible Person’ means the Premises Licence holder, Designated Premises Supervisor or another person over 18 nominated by the licence holder or DPS.

What this means that if you are using under 18s to work behind the bar then each and every sale must be authorised by a nominated Responsible Person.

There is a table meal exemption. This means, there is no offence committed if the alcohol is sold with a table meal (as ancillary to that meal) in a part of the premises set aside for table meals.

This means that a waiter or waitress under the age of 18 can take orders for alcohol for table meals, deliver the alcohol to the table and take payment.

I am a Premises Licence Holder and DPS and I am about to become bankrupt. Will this affect the licence?

If you are the premises licence holder, the premises licence will lapse on your bankruptcy and you should obtain urgent advice as an urgent application would need to be submitted to re-instate the licence in order to preserve trading at the premises.

If you are the DPS/ manager of the pub, from a licensing stance, you will still be able to continue in your position however, you may want to consider the necessity of notifying your employer of the proceedings, and/ or checking your contract of employment.

What is a DPS?

The term ‘DPS’ means Designated Premises Supervisor in England & Wales. In order to sell alcohol in a licensed premises, a DPS needs to be specified on the licence and will need to have a personal licence. A DPS should be in day to day control of the premises in question, but the exact role and responsibilities are not defined.

The Scottish equivalent is a ‘DPM’ or Designated Premises Manager

I am looking to build an extension to my premises, how do I go about extending my licence to include the new area?

If a licensed premises wishes to extend their licensed area, this would need to be dealt with by way of a s34 variation application.

This application would need to include the proposed licensing layout plan, which should comply with the Plans Regulations. The application would incur a Council fee which is based on the non-domestic rateable value of the premises.

The application would be served on all of the responsible authorities and advertisement of the application would need to be made in the local press and at the premises. A s34 application has a 28 day consultation period and if no objections are received, the variation is granted.

If there are objections which cannot be resolved then there would be a hearing before the Licensing Sub- Committee to determine the application.

I am thinking of buying a premises. I intend to be both the premises licence holder and the DPS, what qualifications do I need?

No qualifications are required in order to be a premises licence holder.

In order to be a DPS, you need to have a personal licence in order to sell alcohol or authorise others to sell alcohol in a licensed premises. To apply for a personal licence you need to meet the following:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Hold an accredited qualification, such as the Award for Personal Licence Holders
  • Have not forfeited a personal licence in the preceding 5 years

If you meet the above criteria, you then need to apply to the local Licensing Authority where you live. More information can be found in the Personal Licence section of our website.

Please note that if you have an ‘unspent’ conviction for a ‘relevant’ offence, this may impact on your personal licence application. For more information and advice, please ring us on 0114 266 8664.

I used to run pub about 20 years ago. Can I still run one now?

The introduction of the Licensing Act 2003 changed how licensed premises were managed when the legislation went live in 2005.

Under the legislation in force, if you are intending to be the Designated Premises Supervisor of a licensed premises, you need to have a personal licence in order to sell alcohol or authorise others to sell alcohol.

To apply for a personal licence you need to meet the following:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Hold an accredited qualification, such as the Award for Personal Licence Holders
  • Have not forfeited a personal licence in the preceding 5 years

If you meet the above criteria, you then need to apply to the local Licensing Authority where you live. More information can be found in the Personal Licence section of our website.

Please note that if you have an ‘unspent’ conviction for a ‘relevant’ offence, this may impact on your personal licence application.

If you were a licence holder pre- 2005, please contact us for more information.

In Scotland, what is the law relating to drinks offers and happy hours?

Drinks offers in Scotland are tightly controlled.  Irresponsible drinks offers are prohibited and are widely defined, they would include promotions which:

  1. relates specifically to an alcoholic drink likely to appeal largely to persons under the age of 18,
  2. involves the supply of an alcoholic drink free of charge or at a reduced price on the purchase of one or more drinks (whether or not alcoholic drinks),
  3. involves the supply free of charge or at a reduced price of one or more extra measures of an alcoholic drink on the purchase of one or more measures of the drink,
  4. involves the supply of unlimited amounts of alcohol for a fixed charge (including any charge for entry to the premises),
  5. encourages, or seeks to encourage, a person to buy or consume a larger measure of alcohol than the person had otherwise intended to buy or consume,
  6. is based on the strength of any alcohol,
  7. rewards or encourages, or seeks to reward or encourage, drinking alcohol quickly, or
  8. offers alcohol as a reward or prize, unless the alcohol is in a sealed container and consumed off the premises.

We can offer advice on specific proposals taking into account changes in the law and Court decisions which have elaborated on the subject, all you need to do is get in touch.

I intend to change my layout of the premises, how will this impact on my licence?

A plan of your premises is part of your licence, if you intend to change your layout you must first obtain permission from the relevant Authority.  Both in England & Wales and Scotland there are systems of ‘minor’ and ‘major’ variations.  Minor variations in England & Wales are, as the name suggests, for small alterations to the layout.  In Scotland a variation may be deemed ‘minor’ if the change will not require any change to your operating plan i.e. the occupancy figure.  Minor variation applications are generally quicker and cheaper than major variations.

Large developments or increases to occupancy will usually trigger a major variation application.  These are usually involve a longer process and larger application fees.

In both cases, permission should always be obtained before the work is undertaken.

For specific advice on your proposal, all you need to do is get in touch.

What qualifications do I need to run a pub?

In England & Wales if you want to be a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) you must successfully pass the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH). This will enable you to apply for an Personal Licence and then you can be named as the DPS on the Premises Licence, i.e. in day to day charge of the pub.

In Scotland if you want to become the Designated Premises Manager (DPM) you must have successfully pass the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH). This will allow you to apply for a Scottish Personal Licence and then you can be named as a DPM on the Premises Licence in the above capacity, i.e. in charge of the pub.

I am already a Designated Premises Supervisor at one site. Can I become a Designated Premises Supervisor at another site at the same time?

In England and Wales this is technically possible on a short term basis although the Police are likely to expect that you do have some daytime responsibility and powers of supervision at both sites.

In Scotland it is not possible to be the Designated Premises Manager (as it is called in Scotland) at more than one site at a time.

If you have any doubts about your particular circumstances, please give us a call.

What gaming machines can I install at my premises?

The holders of a premises licences, which allow allows the sale of alcohol on the premises and has a bar servery, can give automatic notification to the Licensing Authority to install and operate up to 2 gaming machines.  These machines can be either category C or category D machines.  You can also make an application for a Licensing Premises Gaming Machine Permit (LPGMP) for permission to install a larger number of category C and D machines. The LPGMP is not an automatic entitlement and each application is considered on its own merits.

The holders of a Club Premises Certificate are able to apply for either a Club Gaming Permit or Club Machine Permit which allows the installation of a higher category gaming machines and, in the case of Club Gaming Permits, poker without daily limits on stakes or prizes.

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