News: Weights & Measures Order 2010 - a legal update
- Date: 10/03/2011
- Source: Poppleston Allen
- Author/Solicitor: Steve Burnett
If you operate a premises, licensed under the Licensing Act 2003, you will be aware of a mandatory condition attached to your Premises Licenses relating to smaller measures of alcohol. Namely that:
a responsible person shall ensure that-
(a) where any of the following alcoholic drinks is sold or supplied for consumption on the premises (other than alcoholic drinks sold or supplied having been made up in advance ready for sale or supply in a securely closed container) it is available to customers in the following measures-
(i) beer or cider: ½ pint;
(ii) gin, rum, vodka or whisky: 25 ml or 35 ml; and
(iii) still wine in a glass: 125 ml; and
(b) customers are made aware of the availability of these measures.
The mandatory condition restricts licensed premises to selling alcoholic drinks in certain measures. Wine cannot be sold in measures less than 125ml while beer must be sold in thirds, halves or multiples of half-pints. Fortified wine must be sold in the same quantities as normal wine.
Related changes to the Weight and Measures Legislation in respect of smaller measures had been proposed by the previous government banning, amongst other things, the sale of small measures of wine.
The Science Minister, David Willetts, confirmed in January, that these changes were set to be relaxed.
The Government plans to introduce greater flexibility. Premises would be able to sell wine in measures under 75ml, beers could be sold in 'schooners', which are two-thirds of a pint, while fortified wine could be sold in smaller sizes of 50ml and 70ml. Clearly the proposal to allow 'sampling' of wine below a de minimis level of 75 ml makes a great deal of sense.
A Statutory Instrument making these changes will be laid before Parliament during this session and subject to no further delays, introduced as law in October 2011.
The minister says that the changes will 'keep fixed quantities but provide greater flexibility'. Precisely and why not?
For more information please contact Steve Burnett