Takeaway Sale of Alcohol - Can Alcohol be consumed within 100 metres?

1. Can your Pub/Restaurant sell takeaway alcohol?

Not all licences permit the sale of takeaway alcohol. The type of alcohol that can be offered will also be dependent on the type of Licence:

i. Takeaway Alcohol Sales with a Wine Retailers On Licence and Restaurant Certificate
– The holder of the above licence is only permitted to sell wine as part of the takeaway offer for consumption off the premises.
– Beer cannot be sold for consumption off the premises.

ii. Takeaway Alcohol Sales with a Special Restaurant Licence
– The holder of the above licence is not permitted to sell any alcohol for takeaway.

iii. Takeaway Alcohol Sales with a Pub Licence
– The holder of the above licence is permitted to sell all types of alcohol as part of the takeaway offer for consumption off the premises.

Pub and Restaurant owners must clearly highlight appropriate terms and conditions regarding their sale and the delivery of alcohol. This should include the type of alcohol for sale, the permitted hours and the strict over 18’s policy and the consequences which will follow 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. Consuming alcohol in a public place may be prohibited by Bye-Laws.

While there are no countrywide laws prohibiting drinking in public, each local authority area is entitled to pass Bye-Laws prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in a public place. For example, in the city of Dublin there are Bye-Laws adopted which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public places.

4. Takeaway alcohol cannot be sold in closed containers and consumed within 100 metres of the premises.

A container in relation to alcohol is defined in law as a bottle or other container irrespective of whether the bottle or container is opened or unopened.

A licensed premises that is permitted to sell off sales (please see No. 1 above) may be guilty of an offence, if they supply alcohol in a closed container and consent or know the alcohol is being consumed within 100 metres of their premises.

Pubs and restaurants need to take the appropriate measures to make sure that if alcohol is being sold in a closed container, it is not consumed within 100 metres of the premises. What constitutes a ‘closed container’ has not been the subject of a Court debate, however, it may be difficult to argue that a plastic glass with a lid, is not a closed container.

5. 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.

6. 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 unless sufficient ID is presented.

It is an offence for the pub or restaurant 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.

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

It is the responsibility of the pub or restaurant owner 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. Pubs and restaurants 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 pub or restaurant 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 business during this difficult time, please contact Lorraine Compton or Fiona Tonge for any further information required.

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