Skip to main content

Illegal Alcohol Sales

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licensed premises were closed down by (a) police and (b) local authorities for selling alcohol illegally in (i) Dudley, (ii) the West Midlands and (iii) the UK in each of the last 10 years. (102074)

The Home Office does not collect local or regional figures for the number of licensed premises that have been closed down by police and local authorities for selling alcohol illegally. Figures from the DCMS statistical bulletin on Liquor Licensing (2004) show that the total number of licences revoked, or not renewed, in England and Wales for the following years are:

Number

1995

378

1998

317

2001

183

2004

354

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what penalties may be imposed in cases where licensed premises sell alcohol illegally. (102076)

I have been asked to reply.

Penalties which may currently be imposed on conviction for offences involving the unlawful sale or exposure for sale of alcohol under the Licensing Act 2003 are set out in the following table:

Section of the 2003 Act and offence

Maximum sentence on summary conviction

S136(1)

(a) Carrying on a licensable activity on or from any premises otherwise than under and in accordance with an authorisation (includes unauthorised sales of alcohol); or (b) knowingly allowing a licensable activity to be so carried on.

Imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding £20,000, or both.

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S137

On any premises, exposing for sale by retail alcohol in circumstances where the sale by retail of that alcohol on those premises would be an unauthorised licensable activity.

Imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding £20,000, or both.

Alcohol and its containers may be declared forfeit by the court and destroyed or dealt with in such other manner as the court decides. In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S138

Having possession of or under his control alcohol which he intends to sell by retail or supply in circumstances where that activity would be an unauthorised licensable activity.

A fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale (currently £500).

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S141

(a) Knowingly selling or attempting to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk; or (b) knowingly allowing alcohol to be sold to such a person.

A fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (currently £1,000).

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S146(1)

Selling alcohol to an individual aged under 18.

A fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000).

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S146(3)

Supplying alcohol on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of a club who is aged under 18; or to the order of a member of a club, to an individual who is aged under 18.

A fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000).

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S147(1)

Knowingly allowing the sale of alcohol on relevant premises to an individual aged under 18.

A fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000).

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S147(3)

Knowingly allowing alcohol to be supplied on relevant premises by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of a club who is aged under 18; or to the order of a member of a club, to an individual who is aged under 18.

A fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000).

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S148(1)

A person selling liqueur confectionery to an individual aged under 16; or supplying such confectionery, on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of a club who is aged under 16; or to the order of a member of a club, to an individual who is aged under 16.

A fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale (currently £500).

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

S148(3)

Liqueur confectionery being supplied by a club or on its behalf to, or to the order of, a member of a club who is aged under 16; or to the order of a member of a club, to an individual who is aged under 16.

A fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale (currently £500).

In the case of a personal licence holder, the court may also suspend that licence for a period not exceeding six months or order the forfeiture of that licence.

In addition, under section 1 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, certain licensing offences included in the Licensing Act 2003 may be dealt with by the issue of a fixed penalty notice by the police. With regard to sales of alcohol, these include:

Section of the 2003 Act and offence

Penalty (£)

S141 Sale of alcohol to a person who is drunk

80

S146(1) and (3) Sale of alcohol to children under 18

80

When commenced, section 23 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (c. 38) will also create a new offence of selling alcohol to a person under 18 from licensed premises on three or more occasions within a three-month period. Liability will attach to the premises licence holder. The maximum penalty will be a fine of £10,000 and the court may, in addition, suspend the offender’s premises licence for up to three months.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of underage drinkers in (a) Dudley, (b) the West Midlands and (c) the UK. (102077)

The Home Office does not collect local or regional figures for the number of underage drinkers. Findings from the 2004 Offending, Crime and Justice survey revealed that 56 per cent. of 10 to 17- year-olds reported having had an alcoholic drink in the previous 12 months. This figure was highest among 16 to 17-year-olds (88 per cent.) and lowest among 10 to 13-year-olds (29 per cent.).