Covid-19: Can Hotels Sell Alcohol Online

1. Can your hotel sell alcohol online?

Hotels may have the benefit of one of the following three intoxicating liquor licences which dependent on the type of licence will allow for the sale of certain types of alcohol off the premises:-

i. Online Alcohol Sales with a Hotel Licence
The holder of the above licence is permitted to sell all types of alcohol for consumption off the premises.

ii. Online Alcohol Sales with a Pub Licence
The holder of the above licence is permitted to sell all types of alcohol for consumption off the premises. A small number of hotels have the benefit of an unconditional publican’s licence which were obtained pre 1902.

iii. Online Alcohol Sales with a Wine Retailers On Licence
The holder of the above licence is permitted to sell wine for consumption off the premises.

Hotels must clearly highlight the appropriate terms and conditions regarding the sale and the delivery of alcohol. This should include the type of alcohol for sale, the permitted hours and their strict over 18’s policy and the consequences which will flow if the person attempting to accept delivery is under 18.

2. The sale of alcohol must take place on the premises.

All transactions for the sale of alcohol must take place at the licensed premises, therefore when ordering alcohol, a person must pay on the premises or via a credit card online or over the phone.

3. What are the permitted hours for the sale of alcohol by delivery/takeaway?

The sale of alcohol can only occur:-

– Monday to Saturday between the hours of 10.30am and 10.00pm; and
– Sunday between the hours of 12.30pm to 10.00pm.

4. How do you prevent the sale of alcohol to underage persons?

It is imperative that there is a strict training programme in place and proper procedures to ensure that alcohol is not ordered or delivered to persons under 18. Any persons delivering alcohol must be specifically trained in the delivery of alcohol and the necessity to request ID.

It is an offence for a Hotel to sell or deliver or permit any person to sell or deliver alcohol to any person under the age of 18. A licence holder is said to have permitted the sale or delivery of alcohol when no steps are taken to prevent it.

The only defence available for such an offence is that the person actually was over 18 and presented a Garda Age Card showing the person is over 18. It is not a defence to show a forged age card was presented. It also no longer a defence to show reasonable grounds for believing the person was over 18.

Conviction for a first offence is an automatic closure order for up to 2 days.

5. What if a delivery service delivers alcohol, on your behalf, to an underage person?

It is the responsibility of the hotel who is the holder of the licence to make sure any delivery of alcohol by a third party/ delivery service is carried out by trained personnel who ensure the person accepting the order is over 18, by checking ID. Hotels need to be extremely vigilant and safeguard themselves against errors made by third parties.

Safeguards such as clearly highlighting an order containing alcohol, prompts to the driver to ask for ID and a procedure for alcohol to be returned to the hotel if no ID is presented can reduce the likelihood of an offence being committed. However, unless the delivery is carried out by a trained member of staff, there is an obvious substantial risk.

If you have any queries in relation to operation of your restaurant during this difficult time, please contact: –

  • Lorraine Compton on 086 – 253 4651 or lorraine.compton@comptonsolicitors.ie


  • Fiona Tonge on 089 – 471 4128 or             fiona.tonge@comptonsolicitors.ie


We Can Help You To Better Understand What Business You Can Carry Out During The Covid 19 Emergency Period:

Liquor Licensing is a complex and multi faceted process. 

We pride ourselves on providing a simple, non technical road map with a speedy timeline for completion of the project.  Along the way, we will liaise directly with architects and accountants to leave you free to concentrate on your business.


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