Briefing Note - Police and Social Responsibility Bill

    View Authors February 2011

    TEST PURCHASING FOR SALE OF ALCOHOL TO A PERSON WHO IS DRUNK

    The Publican reported in November that North Wales police were employing actors to test purchase the sale of alcohol to drunks, which is of course an offence under the Licensing Act 2003. This came on the back of reports in June that a similar initiative had been undertaken in Bexley, Kent.

    We understand that both forces were employing actors to enter licensed premises, act in a drunken manner, tell the bar staff that they were drunk and then try to purchase alcohol.

    It is an offence under section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003 to sell or attempt to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk, or to knowingly allow alcohol to be sold to such a person. This offence is arguably the ‘forgotten offence’ within the hospitality and leisure industry as there have been so few prosecutions, perhaps because of the difficulty in establishing proof of the offence, potential confusion surrounding the meaning of ‘drunk’ and the fact that it is unlikely that the offence will be reported.