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Breach of mandatory conditions

What happens if you breach the mandatory conditions of your licence?

Picture this scenario: You’re aware that all licences now have a mandatory condition prohibiting the direct dispense of alcohol into customers’ mouths, but you’ve employed “shot girls” during busy periods. They move freely through the premises and sell shots. One of your managers recently reported that he’d seen one of them pouring alcohol directly into a customer’s mouth. It was clear that the customers in question were on a stag party and had paid the girl to do this.

Can you get into trouble for this?

The short answer is that yes you can. Whilst these girls are not direct employees of yours you will nonetheless as premises licence holder and/or DPS remain responsible for compliance with the conditions of the licence. Anyone who is involved in the sale of alcohol at your premises – including these girls – needs to be properly trained in the service of alcohol. This means that you need to cover off the basics of underage selling, selling to drunks and indeed compliance with any relevant conditions on your licence. It may be that it is only by reading the conditions of your licence that you can determine exactly which conditions it may be worthwhile highlighting to them.

It would be a good idea to keep a copy of the signed off training record so that in the event that there is a problem you are covered. You should also instruct your normal managers and employees to keep an eye on what the girls are doing as clearly their interests may not totally be in line with your own. Nonetheless, they are unlikely to face legal consequences whereas you of course may do.

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