I am a licence holder and I would like to run a bar at a function, but the licensing justices have refused my application for an occasional licence. What penalties would I face if I ran the bar without the occasional licence?
The Licensing Act 1964 specifically provides that a licensee selling alcohol at premises which are not covered by either his/her liquor licence or an occasional licence is committing an offence.If you are found guilty of this offence then you could be liable to imprisonment for a term of up to six months and/or a maximum fine of £2,500. Additionally, if you have already been found guilty of any offence under the Licensing Act then you could be disqualified from holding a justices' licence. If you are being convicted for the second time for a licensing offence then you could be disqualified for up to five years. If it is the third time or more then the disqualification period could be for life. You should also be aware that if you are convicted for the second time of this particular offence then your justices' licence would be forfeited.With regard to the occasional licence that was refused, there is no means for you to appeal this decision. However, there is no limit on the amount of times that you can make the application provided that you comply with the notice requirements. This means that at least 24 hours notice of the application must be given to both the court and the police. Try to prepare your second application so that you deal with all the concerns that the magistrates may have which may make them more amenable to granting the licence.