Legal checklist: Appointing a DPS

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

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The DPS is the main point of contact in discussion with police
The DPS is the main point of contact in discussion with police
While many of you will already have undertaken the appointment of a designated premises supervisor (DPS), the importance of the role can often be forgotten, with potentially damaging consequences.

It is worth remembering the following tips when considering the appointment and conduct of a DPS.
■ Always give careful consideration to the person you appoint to be your DPS. In effect, do you have trust in them? They must be nominated by the premises licence holder. The person must formally give their written consent to undertaking this role when the application for the premises licence is made. In certain circumstances, the police may object to the appointment.
■ To be the DPS, the person nominated must be the holder of a valid personal licence.
■ The DPS must notify the licensing authority from where they obtained their personal licence of any change of name or address.
■ Don’t forget that the DPS is the point of contact at the premises and must be in day-to-day control of the premises, even though he or she may be absent from time to time.
■ It is a mandatory condition that no supply of alcohol may be made under the premises licence:
(a) at a time when there is no DPS in respect of the premises licence, or
(b) at a time when the DPS does not hold a personal licence or his/her personal licence is suspended.
■ If you do sell alcohol without a DPS, you run the risk of receiving a criminal conviction, a maximum £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison. Furthermore, breaches of the mandatory conditions may result in a review of your premises licence, which could lead to further sanctions such as the suspension or revocation of that licence.
■ As the same premises can have only one DPS but numerous personal licence holders, it is advisable that another member of your staff becomes a personal licence holder, so that in the event that your DPS leaves suddenly, a quick variation can be made.
■ The personal licence of your DPS could be at risk if he or she allows disorderly conduct or controlled drug activity on the premises. This could result in the responsible authorities seeking to replace the DPS and/or seeking the suspension and/or forfeiture of their personal licence. So watch out for problems —regularly review the performance of your DPS and speak with your customers directly.

So give careful consideration to the appointment of your DPS as they act as a representative of your business. Remember, the DPS is the primary contact, not just for your customers, but also council officers and the police. An ill-advised appointment could put your entire business at risk.

Related topics Licensing law

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