The annual party season is now in full swing and we have all manner of groups hitting the town - including family get-togethers, boys' nights out, girls' nights out and not forgetting the annual work night out!
Spirits are high and everyone hopes to enjoy a good night. Here are our top tips for the on trade to ensure a fun festive experience for your patrons and staff.
- Ensure staff are trained on your policies to prevent sales to customers who are intoxicated and consider reinforcing the message with posters in the venue;
- supplement the above by ensuring staff (including glass collectors) identify drunk customers to prevent them being bought more alcohol by others in their party;
- implement your duty of care policy for vulnerable and incapable customers by - (a) providing a safe space for welfare or first aid whilst assessing if further help re getting further help (b) making appropriate arrangements to ensure the safe transport home of vulnerable customers or requesting medical assistance if required;
- consider a "designated driver scheme" to ensure alcohol-free options are readily available and affordable or give free soft drinks to those who are driving;
- be aware that vulnerable people may be targeted on a night out and have policies in place to support those feeling vulnerable and in need of help – national initiatives like "Ask for Angela" have been rolled out across the country;
- ensure all your staff get home safely particularly later in the evening and/or on nights where public transport is running on a reduced service.
- Agent of Change to be applied when considering objections and complaints
- Recognition of Community Alcohol Network / “Ask for Angela” to actively encourage more licence holders to adopt schemes aimed at promoting safety in the operation of licensed premises.
- Proposed pilot scheme offering 4am terminal licensed hour for late night entertainment premises within the city centre. This will see a 12 month pilot but only premises with nightclub hours of 7pm to 3am can apply.
- Tighter rules for 1am terminal hour for restaurants meaning that after 12 midnight alcohol is only to be sold to, and consumed by, customers who have taken a meal.
- Occasional licences to require at least 6 weeks' notice in advance of the start date.
- New condition on outdoor drinking areas means the approved layout plan will require to be displayed in the outdoor area at a place clearly visible to members of the public and relevant officers.
- Overprovision zones extended.
New approach to licensed hours for on sales hours as follows:
- 15-hour trading window. Premises within the city centre can utilise this 15 hours between the following times: Sunday to Thursday - 10am to 2am and Friday & Saturday – 10am to 3am. Premises out with the City Centre can utilise this 15 hours between the following times: Sunday to Thursday - 10am to midnight and Friday & Saturday – 10am to 1am. This removes the requirement for significant entertainment, however, the Policy makes clear that the above terminal hours may not be suitable for all premises and as always the Board will look at each case on its own merits, considering e.g. CCTV, stewards, and radio link.
- Disapplication of the 15-hour rule for extended hours applications means if a premises is catering for a bona fide event then the Board will dis-apply the 15 hour-rule, i.e. a premises may trade for 16 hours by virtue of an extended hours certificate.
- No overprovision of on sales premises
- Overprovision now covers the majority of the city centre for all licence types. The areas are – Tollcross; Southside, Canongate & Dumbiedykes; Old Town, Princes Street & Leith Street (which subsumes the Grassmarket); and Dean Village
- Site visits to remain for changes to children's access in pubs
- The general policy on hours remains unchanged: 9am commencement (on-sales), 1am terminal (on-sales) except restaurants and nightclubs 3am
- Duty to trade – 1 year period of non-activity could see a licence revoked
- A commitment to a new consultation on amplified music in pubs and bars to review the current conditions attached to licences where music is played.
The Gambling Commission has said stronger partnerships are needed to protect children following a report published in November 2018.
The gambling regulator has called for regulators and businesses across industries to work together, but the research also shows the important influence parents can have on children’s gambling behaviour. The report reveals that gambling participation by 11 to 16 year olds has increased in the last 12 months but remains lower compared to all previous years. However, the research indicated that more children are at risk of being harmed by gambling.
- 14% of 11-16 year olds have gambled in the last week
- 66% of 11-16 year olds have been exposed to gambling advertising on TV
- 12% of 11-16 year olds follow gambling companies on social media.
The report can be found on the Gambling Commission's website.
Out and about
Snow picks and crampons remain on standby as we have yet to see much of the anticipated Arctic blast but nevertheless our licensing lawyers will continue to represent clients up and down the country.
This month we have had successes at Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, Aberdeen City, Moray, Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Argyll and Bute, Dundee, Edinburgh, Stirling, Highland, West Dunbartonshire and Scottish Borders Licensing Boards.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at December 2018. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.