Q&A No half measures

  • Date: 10 June 2016
  • Author/Solicitor: Graeme Cushion
  • Source: Reproduced from the Publican's Morning Advertiser

Q:  I run a town centre pub and have just received a letter from our local Trading Standards Department relating to a visit which they conducted just over a week ago.  They ordered some drinks at the bar and claim that the member of staff served a short pint and also a glass of wine which contained less liquid than the quantity ordered.  They have invited me as Premises Licence Holder for an interview under caution.  What should I do?

A:  There are potential offences under Weights and Measures Legislation relating to a failure to serve a full measure.  Normally when Trading Standards conduct a visit such as this they will speak to the member of staff and perhaps the manager on duty at the time to explain what has happened.  In respect of the service of beer they will normally allow a 5% tolerance for a “proper head” being provided on the pint.  In respect of wine the situation is much more black and white in the sense that a full measure is expected i.e. 125ml or 175ml for example.  You will need to investigate fully what has happened in terms of the training that was provided to staff and whether it is properly documented.  This may be sufficient to demonstrate that you as Premises Licence Holder have taken all reasonable steps to avoid the commission of an offence and that the fault lies with the server rather than with you.  It would be prudent to take a solicitor with you to any interview.