Q&A Bike race is set to pass my beer garden

Q:  A local bike race has been scheduled for a few weeks’ time and the route will be passing the beer garden of my premises.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for good weather and I have spoken to the Licensing Officer at the local Council about the event but he has advised that he does not want anyone drinking outside our premises whilst watching the race.  The Licensing Officer explained that if I intend to allow people to drink outside my premises, I will need a Temporary Event Notice although I am not going to have a bar outside.  My premises licence permits ‘on and off’ sales.  Is the Licensing Officer correct?

A:  If you are not offering any regulated entertainment outside your premises; your premises licence permits the sale of alcohol on and off the premises and there are no conditions which prevent customers from drinking outside, the only other thing you need to consider is whether there is an Alcohol Exclusion Zone (AEZ) in force in the area.  Where an AEZ is in force, an offence is committed if a person drinking alcohol does not hand over the alcohol to the Police when requested to do so.  Your customers are likely to be unhappy about having their alcohol confiscated if this applies.  Otherwise, consumption is not a licensable activity and therefore a Temporary Event Notice would not be required.