Q My local social club is at an NHS hospital and regularly sells alcohol. However, it does not appear to have any notices displayed regarding the licensing laws. The manager says that he does not have to because the club is on private property. Is it exempt from the normal licensing laws?
A In order to sell alcohol, any premises needs to hold either a justices' on-licence, a temporary permission such as an occasional licence, or be registered with the magistrates court as a registered club. It does not make any difference that the club is on private land, it must still have the relevant authority to sell alcohol. A club can apply for a registration certificate from the local magistrates court. The club would need to provide a copy of the rules together with various details particularly regarding the sale of alcohol. The justices will need to be sure that the sale of alcohol is managed in such way that no one individual makes a profit.
If the club is not registered with the magistrates court and does not hold a justices' on-licence, then the person supplying or authorising the sale of intoxicating liquor could be liable to a fine of £2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to six months.
The club will need to comply with the general licensing hours although they can fix other opening hours within the permitted hours for the sale of alcohol.
File under: 2 Types of licence. March 26 2001