Suffolk pub fined for underage alcohol sales

Published

The business owner and the licensee of a Suffolk pub have been fined for selling alcohol to under-18s.

Suffolk Trading Standards received intelligence that The Bar, in Leiston High Street, was alleged to be selling alcohol to under 18-year-olds and in response officers visited the premises and advised the proprietor, Nicholas D’Arcy, of his obligations.

An underage sales test purchase operation was carried out at The Bar on 2 March 2017, where alcohol was sold to the underage volunteer by a member of staff. After interviewing the seller, D’Arcy, who was also questioned, was issued with a written warning.

Despite this warning, claims the establishment was still serving underage drinkers continued and on 25 May 2017 a second test purchase operation took place and again, alcohol was served to the underage volunteer.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court, Louise Bailey, the designated premises supervisor and premises licence holder, pleaded guilty to persistent selling. She was given a 12 month conditional discharge plus £300 costs.

D’Arcy was responsible by his own admission for all management of the pub and everything that goes on within it. The judge reminded him that as he ran and managed the pub he had a greater responsibility, especially with regards to staff training, but due to his early guilty plea and limited income, he was given a £250 fine, with £500 costs.

Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, said:

“Retailers know it is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under 18 years old and Suffolk Trading Standards’ advice is to operate a ‘Challenge 25’ policy so anyone who looks under 25 should be asked for ID.

“It is important action is taken against traders who sell alcohol to children and in particular, those who repeatedly break these laws. The laws are in place to protect these young people from the associated health risks underage drinking can have.

“All licensees have a responsibility to ensure staff are aware of their obligations under the Licensing Act 2003 to ensure illegal sales of alcohol are not made. If any licensees are unsure of their duties then they should contact Suffolk Trading Standards on 01473 264859 and officers will be able to provide them with advice and guidance.”

Anyone with information about illegal sales of alcohol, tobacco, knives, butane gas or other age-restricted products can inform Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.