I have a liquor licence for premises which are run as a function room. The premises are only used for private functions, for example wedding receptions or staff parties. As the events are always private I do not have a Public Entertainment Licence for my premises. However, I am often asked to provide functions for hours longer than the usual permitted hours.As I do not have a Public Entertainment Licence I cannot apply for a Special Hours Certificate and I have applied for Special Orders of Exemption. Just recently the police have been more reluctant to support my applications and have stated that I should only be granted one hour longer than the usual permitted hours. Why is this?
When making an application for a Special Order of Exemption you do need to specify in the application the hours that are required.The police can obviously comment on the hours requested but it is the justices who will make the decision at the end of the day as to the hours that should be granted. The police may be suggesting that only a one-hour extension should be granted following a recent change in attitude which could be the result of a number of circumstances including amalgamations of police forces. This may lead to these matters being dealt with by different police forces.It is important that you liaise with the police prior to applying for the Special Orders of Exemption so that they are aware of your individual circumstances and the type of event which is proposed.Depending on the number of Special Orders of Exemption that you are applying for each year, the police may also consider that you should apply for a Public Entertainment Licence, meaning that you would then be able to apply for a Special Hours Certificate. This would have to be considered very seriously as a Special Hours Certificate has to be used on each day that it applies, with the exception of 14 days per year.