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UK/Scottish/Welsh Law/Under 18s in Restaurant

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Question
Hello,

I am a restaurant owner and my son who is under 18 is wanting to host a dinner party with some of his friends who are also under 18, I would not be on the premises and I was wondering if this voids my restaurant  alcohol license, they would not be consuming any alcohol and would just be using the venue as a place to host the dinner party, but there would be alcohol on the premises, I just want to know if It would be allowed as I cannot risk losing my alcohol license.

Thank You

Thomas

Answer
Since the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 came into being (on 01/09/2009), there has been no such thing as a restaurant (or public house, off-sales, hotel etc) licence, only a premises licence.

There are no longer Children's Certificates. An application for a premises must contain, amongst other items, an operating plan.

The operating plan must, amongst other items, define where and when children and young persons can be in the premises:
[Section 20(4)(e)]
"where alcohol is to be sold for consumption on the premises, a statement as to whether children or young persons are to be allowed entry to the premises and, if they are to be allowed entry, a statement of the terms on which they are allowed entry including, in particular -
(i) the ages of children or young persons to be allowed entry,
(ii) the times at which they are to be allowed entry, and
(iii) the parts of the premises to which they are to be allowed entry."

So, part of the answer to your question lies in the operating plan submitted for your premises licence.

Section 105 states:
Purchase of alcohol by or for a child or young person
(4)A person other than a child or young person who knowingly buys or attempts to buy alcohol—
(a)on behalf of a child or young person, or
(b)for consumption on relevant premises by a child or young person,
commits an offence.
(5)Subsection (4)(b) does not apply to the buying of beer, wine, cider or perry for consumption by a young person along with a meal supplied on relevant premises.

Section 106 states:
Consumption of alcohol by a child or young person
(1)A child or young person who knowingly consumes alcohol on any relevant premises commits an offence.
(2)Any responsible person who knowingly allows a child or young person to consume alcohol on any relevant premises commits an offence.
(3)Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to the consumption of beer, wine, cider or perry by a young person along with a meal supplied on relevant premises.

Section 147 states:
Interpretation
(1)In this Act —
...
“child” means a person under the age of 16,
...
“young person” means a person aged 16 or 17.

The above sections state:
(3)For the purposes of subsection (2)(b)(i), the accused is to be treated as having taken reasonable steps to establish the child's or young person's age if and only if—
(a)the accused was shown any of the documents mentioned in subsection (4), and
(b)that document would have convinced a reasonable person.
(4)The documents referred to in subsection (3)(a) are any document bearing to be—
(a)a passport,
(b)a European Union photocard driving licence, or
(c)such other document, or a document of such other description, as may be prescribed.

You may wish to contact your own local Licensing Board to confirm, especially the detail of your operating plan.  

UK/Scottish/Welsh Law

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Bruce Fyfe

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