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Irresponsible drink promotions

The aim of the condition is to prohibit or restrict promotions which encourage people to drink more than they might ordinarily do and in a manner which does not promote the licensing objectives.

Mandatory Condition 7

(1) The responsible person must ensure that staff on relevant premises do not carry out, arrange or participate in any irresponsible promotions in relation to the premises.

(2) An irresponsible promotion means any one or more of the following activities, or substantially similar activities, carried on for the purpose of encouraging the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises:

(a) Games or other activities which require or encourage, or are designed to require or encourage, individuals to (i) drink a quantity of alcohol within a time limit (other than to drink alcohol sold or supplied on the premises before the cessation of the period in which the responsible person is authorised to sell or supply alcohol) or (ii) drink as much alcohol as possible (whether within a time limit or otherwise)

(b) Provision of unlimited or unspecified quantities of alcohol free or for a fixed or discounted fee to the public or to a group defined by a particular characteristic in a manner which carries significant risk of undermining a licensing objectives

(c) Provision of free or discounted alcohol or any other thing as a prize to encourage or reward the purchase and consumption of alcohol over a period of 24 hours or less in a manner which carries significant risk of undermining a licensing objectives

(d) Selling or supplying alcohol in association with promotional posters or flyers on, or in the vicinity of, the premises which can reasonably e considered to condone, encourage or glamorise anti-social behaviour or to refer to the effects of drunkenness in any favourable manner

(e) Dispensing alcohol directly by one person into the mouth of another (other than where that other person is unable to drink without assistance by reason of disability).

Guidance relating to this condition

Drinking Games

Irresponsible promotions can include activities, whether drinking games or not, which may require or encourage individuals to drink a quantity of alcohol within a time limit, or drink as much alcohol as possible within a time limit or otherwise. For example, this may include organised ‘drink downing’ competitions. This would not prevent the responsible person from requiring all drinks to be consumed or abandoned at, or before, the closing time of the premises. Nor does it necessarily prohibit ‘happy hours’ as long as these are not designed to encourage individuals to drink excessively or rapidly.

Large quantities for free or fixed price

Irresponsible promotions can include the provision of unlimited or unspecified quantities of alcohol free or for a fixed or discounted price. This includes alcohol provided to the public or to a group defined by a particular characteristic, for example, a promotion which offers women free drinks before a certain time or “all you can drink for £10”. This condition does not apply to a promotion or discount on alcohol for consumption with a table meal. Promotions can be designed with a particular group in mind (for example, over 65s). A common sense approach is encouraged, which may include specifying the quantity of alcohol included in it or not targeting a group which could become more vulnerable or present a greater risk of crime and disorder as a result of excessive alcohol consumption.

Prize or rewards

The sale, supply or provision of free or discounted alcohol or any other item as a prize to encourage or reward the purchase and consumption of alcohol can be within the definition of an irresponsible promotion. This may include promotions under which free or discounted alcohol is offered as a part of the sale of alcohol, for example, “Buy one and get two free” and “Buy one cocktail and get a second cocktail for 25p”. This includes promotions which involve the provision of free or discounted alcohol within the same 24 hour period.

Sporting Events

Irresponsible promotions can include the provision of alcohol for free or for a discounted price in relation to a sporting event shown on the premises, where the sale, supply or provision of alcohol depends on the outcome of a race, match or other event. For example, this may include offering unlimited drinks based on the outcome of a sporting competition. It also applies to events which are unpredictable, such as offering free double shots for every foul committed in a football match, or heavily reduced drinks for five minutes after a try is scored in a rugby match.

Posters and Flyers

Irresponsible promotions can also include the sale or supply of alcohol in association with promotional materials on display in or around the premises, which can either be reasonably considered to condone, encourage or glamorise anti social behaviour or refer to the effects of drunkenness in any favourable manner.

Dispensing alcohol directly into the mouth of another person

The responsible person must ensure that no alcohol is dispensed directly by one person into the mouth of another person. For example, this may include drinking games such as the ‘dentist’s chair’ where a drink is poured continuously into the mouth of another individual and may also prevent a premises from allowing another body to promote its products by employing someone to dispense alcohol directly into customers’ mouths. An exception to this condition would be when an individual is unable to drink without assistance due to a disability.