Q&A with Jack Cummins
Jack Cummins is one of Scotland’s leading licensing lawyers. Every month he writes on licensing law and answers readers’ questions in SLTN. Do you have a legal question for Jack Cummins?*
Q: A small convenience shop just down the road from my pub has put an A-board on the pavement outside the premises advertising alcohol deals during Euro 2020. Discounted five-litre mini kegs of beers and lagers are stacked on the floor beside the alcohol shelf displays. Is this sort of promotion allowed?
A: The shop’s premises licence will have a condition restricting “drinks promotions”: that is, any activity which promotes, or seeks to promote, the buying of alcohol sold for off consumption. (There are some exceptions not relevant here.) A promotion mustn’t take place in the “vicinity of the premises”: the area extending to 200 metres from the premises boundary. It follows that you’re describing a clear breach of that condition. Secondly, it’s unlikely that the floor displays are permitted. The premises licence operating plan will set out an off-sales capacity based on the dimensions of the alcohol displays. The position of these displays will be shown on the layout plan. Adding additional capacity without a major variation of the licence simply isn’t an option. Lastly, thinking of the promotional pricing, the lower prices have to be introduced at the start of a period of licensed hours and can’t be changed in the ensuing 72 hours.
Q: I’m the director of a limited company that holds a premises licence for a restaurant. A couple of weeks ago I was convicted of drink-driving. Do I need to notify the licensing board?
A: As a “connected person” for the purpose of the premises licence you’re obliged to notify the board no later than one month after the date of conviction specifying the offence and conviction date. At the same time, the licence must be sent to the board; and if that can’t be done, you should supply written reasons for your failure to produce the licence.