Licence holders do not have to be 'physically present'

13 July, 2007

Guidance finally clarifies Licensing Act grey area over off-trade alcohol sales

Personal licence holders do not have to be present each time alcohol is sold, revised Licensing Act guidance

has confirm ed.

Issued by the Department for Culture, Media

& Sport, the advice confirms that while every

alcohol sale must be "authorised" by a responsible person,

they do not have to

be physically presen t in the shop.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said he was pleased the government had finally clarified the situation.

Launching the revised guidance, former licensing minister Shaun Woodward said: "The Licensing Act has been in force now for over a year and, although it is still early days, there are encouraging signs that it is delivering real improvements on the ground. "

He added: "There 's always room for improvement and, with the benefit of experience, local councils, the licensed trade, and the police and residents' groups have asked us to provide further clarification in some areas."

Other amendments to the guidance include clarification on how councils and police can deal with licensees who are not taking "reasonable steps to prevent disorder and public nuisance" outside their premises and advice on licence reviews, hours and "cumulative impact" zones.

The guidance - available at - also says that licensing authorities should not attach blanket conditions to premises licences fixing drinks prices, but that they can encourage take-up of industry best practice guidelines .

What's Your Problem - page 17.

Authorising a sale: DCMS advice

The personal licence holder (most likely to also be designated premises supervisor) should make sure that:

Staff authorised to sell alcohol are clearly identified

The authorisation

specif ies the act/s which may be carried out by those people


is a clear act of authorisation, for example, a written statement given to the individual authorised


are "sensible arrangements" in place for the personal licence holder to monitor the activity they have authorised on a regular basis. A single written authorisation could cover multiple sales.

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