B1597 – Alcohol Purchase and Consumption (Licensed Premises) Bill 2020

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Andrew97
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B1597 – Alcohol Purchase and Consumption (Licensed Premises) Bill 2020, TSR Liberal Democrats

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Licensing (Legal Drinking Age) Bill 2020

An Act allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to purchase and consume beer, wine and cider on licensed premises.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1: Legal drinking age
'The legal drinking age' is defined as the minimum age at which alcoholic beverages may be consumed in public, this being—
(a) 16 years of age, in the case of beer, wine and cider, when purchased and consumed on licensed premises.
(b) 18 years of age, otherwise.

3: Sale of alcohol to individuals below the legal drinking age
Section 146(1–4) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

(1) A person commits an offence if he sells alcohol to an individual aged below the legal drinking age.
(2) A club commits an offence if alcohol is supplied by it or on its behalf—
(2) (a) to, or to the order of, a member of the club who is aged below the legal drinking age, or
(2) (b) to the order of a member of the club, to an individual who is aged below the legal drinking age.
(3) A person commits an offence if he supplies alcohol on behalf of a club—
(3) (a) to, or to the order of, a member of the club who is aged below the legal drinking age, or
(3) (b) to the order of a member of the club, to an individual who is aged below the legal drinking age.
(4) Where a person is charged with an offence under this section by reason of his own conduct it is a defence that—
(4) (a) he believed that the individual was aged below the legal drinking age, and
(4) (b) either—
(4) (b) (i) he had taken all reasonable steps to establish the individual’s age, or
(4) (b) (ii) nobody could reasonably have suspected from the individual’s appearance that he was aged below the legal drinking age.

4: Allowing the sale of alcohol to individuals below the legal drinking age
(1) Section 147(1) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

A person to whom subsection (2) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows the sale of alcohol on relevant premises to an individual aged below the legal drinking age.

(2) Section 147(3) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

A person to whom subsection (4) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows alcohol to be supplied on relevant premises by or on behalf of a club—
(a) to or to the order of a member of the club who is aged below the legal drinking age, or
(b) to the order of a member of the club, to an individual who is aged below the legal drinking age.

5: Persistently selling alcohol to individuals below the legal drinking age
Section 147A(1–3) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—
(1) (a) on 2 or more different occasions within a period of 3 consecutive months alcohol is unlawfully sold on the same premises to an individual aged below the legal drinking age;
(1) (b) at the time of each sale the premises were either licensed premises or premises authorised to be used for a permitted temporary activity by virtue of Part 5; and
(1) (c) that person was a responsible person in relation to the premises at each such time.
(2) For the purposes of this section alcohol sold to an individual aged below the legal drinking age is unlawfully sold to him if—
(2) (a) the person making the sale believed the individual to be aged below the legal drinking age; or
(2) (b) that person did not have reasonable grounds for believing the individual to be aged at or above the legal drinking age.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) a person has reasonable grounds for believing an individual to be aged at or above the legal drinking age only if—
(3) (a) he asked the individual for evidence of his age and that individual produced evidence that would have convinced a reasonable person; or
(3) (b) nobody could reasonably have suspected from the individual's appearance that he was aged below the legal drinking age.

6: Purchase of alcohol by or on behalf of individuals below the legal drinking age
(1) Section 149(1) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

An individual aged below the legal drinking age commits an offence if—
(a) he buys or attempts to buy alcohol, or
(b) where he is a member of a club—
(b) (i) alcohol is supplied to him or to his order by or on behalf of the club, as a result of some act or default of his, or
(b) (ii) he attempts to have alcohol supplied to him or to his order by or on behalf of the club.

(2) Section 149(3) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

A person commits an offence if—
(a) he buys or attempts to buy alcohol on behalf of an individual aged below the legal drinking age, or
(b) where he is a member of a club, on behalf of an individual aged below the legal drinking age he—
(b) (i) makes arrangements whereby alcohol is supplied to him or to his order by or on behalf of the club, or
(b) (ii) attempts to make such arrangements.

(3) Section 149(4) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

A person (“the relevant person”) commits an offence if—
(a) he buys or attempts to buy alcohol for consumption on relevant premises by an individual aged below the legal drinking age, or
(b) where he is a member of a club—
(b) (i) by some act or default of his, alcohol is supplied to him, or to his order, by or on behalf of the club for consumption on relevant premises by an individual aged below the legal drinking age, or
(b) (ii) he attempts to have alcohol so supplied for such consumption.

(4) Section 149(5) of the 2003 Act is repealed.

(5) Section 149(6) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (3) or (4) it is a defence that he had no reason to suspect that the individual was aged below the legal drinking age.

7: Consumption of alcohol by individuals below the legal drinking age
(1) Section 150(1–2) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

(1) An individual aged below the legal drinking age commits an offence if he knowingly consumes alcohol on relevant premises.
(2) A person to whom subsection (3) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows the consumption of alcohol on relevant premises by an individual aged below the legal drinking age.

(2) Section 150(4) of the 2003 Act is repealed.

8: Delivering alcohol to individuals below the legal drinking age
(1) Section 151(1–2) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

(1) A person who works on relevant premises in any capacity, whether paid or unpaid, commits an offence if he knowingly delivers to an individual aged below the legal drinking age—
(1) (a) alcohol sold on the premises, or
(1) (b) alcohol supplied on the premises by or on behalf of a club to or to the order of a member of the club.
(2) A person to whom subsection (3) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows anybody else to deliver to an individual aged below the legal drinking age alcohol sold on relevant premises.

(2) Section 151(4) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

A person to whom subsection (5) applies commits an offence if he knowingly allows anybody else to deliver to an individual aged below the legal drinking age alcohol supplied on relevant premises by or on behalf of a club to or to the order of a member of the club.

(3) Section 151(6) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

(6) Subsections (1), (2) and (4) do not apply where—
(6) (a) the alcohol is delivered at a place where the buyer or, as the case may be, person supplied lives or works, or
(6) (b) the individual aged below the legal drinking age works on the relevant premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which involves the delivery of alcohol, or
(6) (c) the alcohol is sold or supplied for consumption on the relevant premises.

9: Sending an individual below the legal drinking age to obtain alcohol
Section 152(1–4) of the 2003 Act is amended to:

(4)(1) A person commits an offence if he knowingly sends an individual aged below the legal drinking age to obtain—
(1) (a) alcohol sold or to be sold on relevant premises for consumption off the premises, or
(1) (b) alcohol supplied or to be supplied by or on behalf of a club to or to the order of a member of the club for such consumption.
(2) For the purposes of this section, it is immaterial whether the individual aged below the legal drinking age is sent to obtain the alcohol from the relevant premises or from other premises from which it is delivered in pursuance of the sale or supply.
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply where the individual aged below the legal drinking age works on the relevant premises in a capacity, whether paid or unpaid, which involves the delivery of alcohol.
(4) Subsection (1) also does not apply where the individual aged below the legal drinking age is sent by—
(4) (a) a constable, or
(4) (b) a weights and measures inspector,
who is acting in the course of his duty.

10: Extent, commencement and short title
(1) This Act extends to England and Wales.
(2) The provisions of this Act come into force on 1st January 2021.
(3) This Act may be cited as the Licensing Act 2020.

Notes
This bill reduces the legal drinking age to 16 for beer, wine and cider, when these are bought and consumed on licensed premises, while retaining it at 18 for all other alcoholic beverages and in all other settings. This is achieved via a long list of amendments to the Licensing Act 2003, which substitute the age of 18 on the face of the bill to 'legal drinking age', which can be defined concisely as in section 1 of this bill.

Reducing the legal drinking age to 16 is a recognition that many individuals aged 16 and 17 succeed in drinking illegally in public under current legislation. We feel that it is better that this take place in a reasonably controlled and supervised environment than not, hence this relaxation is restricted to licensed premises. This reduced limit has been restricted to beer, wine and cider, as these are weaker drinks, meaning a much larger quantity must be consumed to intoxicate an individual to a dangerous level.

We hope that by providing 16- and 17-year-olds with the option of a legal pint of beer or cider or glass of wine in a pub, bar or restaurant, they will be persuaded to take up this offer, rather than drinking spirits illegally. Hopefully this will lead to a healthier youth drinking culture, as is the case for the most part in Germany, where a similar regulatory framework exists.
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Miss Maddie
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Germany has a terrible drinking culture

Look at the stats. Germany is the heaviest alcohol-drinking nation in Europe, placed fifth after Luxembourg, Hungary, Czech Republic and Ireland. Most recent data shows that that 1.7 million (586,000 in the UK) Germans are dependent on alcohol and need treatment, whilst, 2.7 million use alcohol in a harmful way. 74,000 people die every year from alcohol in Germany. It's 10,000 in the UK. There are 13,000 drink-drive deaths in Germany a year (8,700 in the UK). Alcohol has a negative societal cost of £36bn in Germany, it is £21bn in the UK.

Ironically, health experts in Germany are calling for the age limit for alcohol to be raised to a minimum of 18 in every case. Some are even calling for 21!

Source 1
Source 2
Source 3

There is no evidence this works and I doubt the author has examined the data before writing this.

Impractical

Has the author thought about how a busy bar will work with this policy in place? Bartenders will inevitably be confused by the law and mistakes will be made (bartenders are usually students on a ZHC who don't work often and are given minimal training). Making everything 18 is easier for the staff.

Bars will ignore the 16 limit and put their own 18 requirements on entry (this will certainly happen in clubs where most drinks sold are spirits and alcopops and IDing each customer during every order is impractical). The only venues following this will be the local pubs and some chains. The clubs and busy bars will continue with 18.

Ineffective

Britain's drinking culture is further-reaching that children going wild at 18. Most children experienced alcohol well before 18 at house parties. The excess drinking and alcohol incidents mostly happen at clubs (source 3). Clubs won't be effected by this policy. Children will still drink at parties, they will still drink at home, they will still smuggle alcohol from their home, they will still have adults buy alcohol for them, they will still use fake IDs and sneak into venues and they will still get drunk clubbing. If anything, this policy is counterproductive as German health officials think.
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04MR17
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The notes might be better in a spoiler, though I appreciate the hyperlink to the relevant legislation.

I commend the author of this bill for their thoroughness in this legislation.

I suspect there'll be quite a few people who will already have a fixed opinion on this subject and I happily will say I am not one of them.

For now I offer tentative support for this bill and will look forward to reading the debate.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by 04MR17)
The notes might be better in a spoiler, though I appreciate the hyperlink to the relevant legislation.

I commend the author of this bill for their thoroughness in this legislation.

I suspect there'll be quite a few people who will already have a fixed opinion on this subject and I happily will say I am not one of them.

For now I offer tentative support for this bill and will look forward to reading the debate.
Why do you offer tentative support when Germany has a worse drinking culture?
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Jammy Duel
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The rationale is pretty poor because that controlled environment already exists
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04MR17
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Why do you offer tentative support when Germany has a worse drinking culture?
Because you have yet to demonstrate that your statement is correct.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Because you have yet to demonstrate that your statement is correct.
More alcohol consumption overall per capita, more Germans are dependent on alcohol, more Germans are dying from alcohol and nearly double the societal cost of alcohol in Germany than the UK. In what way is that a better/equal drinking culture?

(data from sources in my first post)
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04MR17
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
More alcohol consumption overall per capita, more Germans are dependent on alcohol, more Germans are dying from alcohol and nearly double the societal cost of alcohol in Germany than the UK. In what way is that a better/equal drinking culture?

(data from sources in my first post)
Apologies, your first post wasn't showing up when I made mine.
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1st superstar
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Still a hard NO from me! will be voting against this bill
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Germany has a terrible drinking culture

Look at the stats. Germany is the heaviest alcohol-drinking nation in Europe, placed fifth after Luxembourg, Hungary, Czech Republic and Ireland. Most recent data shows that that 1.7 million (586,000 in the UK) Germans are dependent on alcohol and need treatment, whilst, 2.7 million use alcohol in a harmful way. 74,000 people die every year from alcohol in Germany. It's 10,000 in the UK. There are 13,000 drink-drive deaths in Germany a year (8,700 in the UK). Alcohol has a negative societal cost of £36bn in Germany, it is £21bn in the UK.

Ironically, health experts in Germany are calling for the age limit for alcohol to be raised to a minimum of 18 in every case. Some are even calling for 21!

Source 1
Source 2
Source 3

There is no evidence this works and I doubt the author has examined the data before writing this.
The notes refer specifically to youth drinking culture, not to examples of drinking that are legal in both countries.

Impractical

Has the author thought about how a busy bar will work with this policy in place? Bartenders will inevitably be confused by the law and mistakes will be made (bartenders are usually students on a ZHC who don't work often and are given minimal training). Making everything 18 is easier for the staff.

Bars will ignore the 16 limit and put their own 18 requirements on entry (this will certainly happen in clubs where most drinks sold are spirits and alcopops and IDing each customer during every order is impractical). The only venues following this will be the local pubs and some chains. The clubs and busy bars will continue with 18.
I'm very happy for clubs to stay 18+ and would go as far as to encourage that. Traditional pubs and bars are the target here. If staff can't differentiate between selling beer, wine and cider and selling spirits then they probably shouldn't be doing any job, never mind bar work.

Ineffective

Britain's drinking culture is further-reaching that children going wild at 18. Most children experienced alcohol well before 18 at house parties. The excess drinking and alcohol incidents mostly happen at clubs (source 3). Clubs won't be effected by this policy. Children will still drink at parties, they will still drink at home, they will still smuggle alcohol from their home, they will still have adults buy alcohol for them, they will still use fake IDs and sneak into venues and they will still get drunk clubbing. If anything, this policy is counterproductive as German health officials think.
So this isn't intended to tackle all the drinking culture, only that of the young, so you've managed to find plenty of things that are not supposed to be affected. It is supposed to be a carrot, not a stick, that increases freedom (something, dare I say it, that is a libertarian measure). We hope that by increasing the number of legal methods by which young people can drink alcohol, they will choose to take them.
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JMR2020.
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I haven't been convinced by the evidence in the notes that this will reduce youth drinking culture but I am open to being convinced.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
The notes refer specifically to youth drinking culture, not to examples of drinking that are legal in both countries.



I'm very happy for clubs to stay 18+ and would go as far as to encourage that. Traditional pubs and bars are the target here. If staff can't differentiate between selling beer, wine and cider and selling spirits then they probably shouldn't be doing any job, never mind bar work.



So this isn't intended to tackle all the drinking culture, only that of the young, so you've managed to find plenty of things that are not supposed to be affected. It is supposed to be a carrot, not a stick, that increases freedom (something, dare I say it, that is a libertarian measure). We hope that by increasing the number of legal methods by which young people can drink alcohol, they will choose to take them.
People grow older. The adults were the youth of a decade ago. If Germany has an alcohol problem (it's still a problem for the youth as per the sources and this one looking specifically at youth culture) then their youth culture is not great. Germany is taking other steps to improve youth alcohol culture such as banning late night alcohol sales and dispersing crowds late at night.

It's a carrot that acts as a Brussel sprout. The youth will find ways of running to the booze as they already do. We both agree there. Children can drink in a pub with a meal. That policy isn't working. Children also drink in a pub when an adult buys something for them. A parent buying a 16 year old child a drink will go unquestioned. That doesn't improve youth culture.

Children drinking in a pub doesn't improve drinking culture. The alternatives are supervised and the reasons for the alternatives is not only alcohol having an 18 limit. The argument with any merit is the 'they're drinking anyway so legalise it in a pub' one. This inevitable has the age old argument about arbitrary lines and could potentially make the problem worse. Not all sixth formers would leave school and go to the pub. More will head to the pub under this change.


You don't solve drinking culture by giving them alcohol at a younger age. There is no evidence to support that.
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SnowMiku
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I currently support this bill.

It's certainly safer to drink in a pub supervised, rather than somewhere isolated where they could be hurt.

Drinking young isn't a good idea but we might as well make it safer to do so.
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Iñigo de Loyola
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Aye. Sixth formers getting drunk on Ace and White Lightning is always going to be a fact of life and I'd rather allow them to do that in a safe space.
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Cabin19
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Aye better to do it in a safe environment than to be doing it in the parks or street's
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
Aye. Sixth formers getting drunk on Ace and White Lightning is always going to be a fact of life and I'd rather allow them to do that in a safe space.
Why should the arbitrary line be 16?

14 year olds drink at parties and on the street. Let's allow them to drink in a pub. If improving drinking culture is the aim, the US approach of increasing drinking to 21 has more evidence behind it than copying Germany, as does the Australian approach of severely restricting where alcohol is sold.

Allowing children to legally drink will encourage more of them to visit the pub after school. Making things more readily available will always increase consumption. Does it improve drinking culture as they turn into adults and mature? No! Germany shows that.


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Iñigo de Loyola
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
...the US approach of increasing drinking to 21 has more evidence behind it than copying Germany, as does the Australian approach of severely restricting where alcohol is sold.
Here I was thinking you were a libertarian, and yet you support a nanny state for alcohol.
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Miss Maddie
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Here I was thinking you were a libertarian, and yet you support a nanny state for alcohol.
Libertarian =/= unlimited freedom.

Parent don't look after their children properly. For the sake of society and order the government should step in. Age restrictions on obvious harms is widely accepted. It's not as if this is a controversial idea, libertarians support voting age limits after all.
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Iñigo de Loyola
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Libertarian =/= unlimited freedom.

Parent don't look after their children properly. For the sake of society and order the government should step in. Age restrictions on obvious harms is widely accepted. It's not as if this is a controversial idea, libertarians support voting age limits after all.
Restricting where alcohol is sold is definitely not a libertarian concept.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
Restricting where alcohol is sold is definitely not a libertarian concept.
Not necessarily
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