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time, gentlemen, Please

24 May 2010

The Conservatives are clearly of the opinion that the binge drinking culture has been amplified by those in the drinking out market and the “relaxed” licensing regime.

Despite the fact that few pubs have actually been allowed to take advantage of 24 hour licensing as provided for by the Licensing Act 2003, the new Home Secretary has announced that there will be a complete review of the Licensing Act by the new coalition Government.

In their election manifesto, the Conservatives pledged that they would give Licensing Authorities and the Police much stronger powers to remove licences from, or refuse to grant licences to any premises that are causing problems.

Whatever the outcome of the review, under the coalition, it is going to become imperative that those in the licensed trade are able to show themselves as responsible licence holders. This will be particularly important due to the likelihood that Local Authorities and the Police are going to be given more discretion, which could result in arbitrary action.

One way to evidence that you are a responsible licence holder is by ensuring that your employees are trained to fully understand the law concerning underage sales, serving people who are drunk and the licensing objectives.

Meanwhile, some blame the binge drinking culture on the 24 hour Licencing Laws and others blame it on restricted access to the 24 hour Laws. Does the real blame belong with the members of a society that allows a binge drinking culture to thrive?

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