Q&A Charity winner drank bottle at village hall

  • Date: 09 April 2015
  • Author/Solicitor: Steve Burnett
  • Source: reproduced from the Publican's Morning Advertiser

Q: I arranged a charity event at our local village hall. On the day, we sold raffle tickets with all proceeds to be donated. One of the participants won a jeroboam of Champagne, which he promptly opened and shared with his friends on his table. I did feel a little apprehensive. A few days later, the Council contacted me and stated that I did not have a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice under the Licensing Act 2003, and they would like to interview me. What should I do?

A: Under the Licensing Act 2003, the sale of alcohol is a licensable activity and specifically, sec 175 of the Act allows the giving of alcohol in sealed containers, as a raffle prize. However, the consumption of alcohol is not licensable. If you are satisfied that the cost of the raffle ticket did not incorporate the cost of the alcohol, or there was genuinely not a sale of alcohol, then it does not appear that you needed a licence for the Champagne being consumed. However, you may wish to consider whether there were any other activities at your event which were licensable e.g., films, recorded music etc. In any event, we always suggest that you take legal advice before you attend any interview with the Licensing Authority.