Licensing

World Cup 2014 - Last Orders Please
20/06/2014
With the World Cup getting under way in Brazil, licensed businesses will be looking forward to a welcome boost in customer volumes from kick off on Thursday 12th June through to the final on Sunday 13th July. In many ways the time difference between this country and Brazil is ideal as it entails matches being played throughout the course of each evening from 5pm onwards, a timetable particularly suited to the many people who enjoy watching live football in the pub or hotel bar setting.  However, with a large number of games kicking off as late as 11pm (and therefore not finishing until...
Christmas & New Year Opening Hours – Comply with your Licence!
13/12/2013
The festive season is upon us and for licensed premises it’s the busiest part of the year. However, this is no excuse to exceed the terms of your liquor licence. We are finding that often businesses are confusing the hours of their liquor licence with those of their entertainment licence and are risking prosecution and a hefty fine by serving alcohol outside the permitted hours. For avoidance of doubt here are the rules: PUBLIC HOUSES The general permitted hours for a Public House On weekdays* (other than Good Friday or Christmas Day)        ...
E-cigarettes – What’s Your Policy?
04/12/2013
With a reported 1.3 million people now using e-cigarettes in the UK, licensed premises are now having to decide how to deal with their use indoors and whether or not to ban them alongside normal cigarettes. The facts At present, e-cigarettes are completely legal in the UK although draft legislation is currently making its way through the EU in relation to restricting their use and bringing them into line with medicinal legislation. They have been banned in countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Singapore and are restricted to varying degrees in several US states. The devices are battery...
Licensing of Pavement Cafés Bill
09/08/2013
Many cafés, bars and restaurants in Northern Ireland are following our European neighbours and placing furniture outdoors to enable customers to enjoy rare spells of good weather. The development of this ‘cafe culture’ is, however, currently unregulated with the Roads Service operating a ‘toleration policy’ towards existing pavement cafes as long as they do not compromise public safety or hinder the movement of pedestrians. A more permanent solution is clearly necessary and a new statutory framework is currently going through Stormont which will make provision for the...
Drinks Promotions and the Joint Industry Code
30/07/2013
As you may be aware, the Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Act (NI) 2011 brought about a new system of penalties for licensees who breach the rules by, for example, serving outside the permitted hours or selling alcohol to young persons. The 2011 Act also saw the introduction of new regulations restricting what it refers to as “irresponsible drinks promotions”, which are described in a number of non-definitive ways such as promotions likely to appeal largely to under 18s, or those that reward or encourage the fast consumption of alcohol. Alongside the updated...
"Bring Your Own" Culture: Issues for Licensed Businesses
19/02/2013
As many hoteliers and restaurant owners will be aware, more and more customers now have an expectation that they will be permitted to bring their own alcohol for consumption during a meal or hotel stay, primarily to save a few pounds on their final bill It is fair to say that most hotels will turn a blind eye to a bottle of wine being brought on to the premises by a guest, with the intention of drinking it in the room, however things take on a more serious aspect when large amounts of alcohol are brought to rooms, with issues of damage to the room, and health and safety for staff and other...