Licensing firm Poppleston Allen issued a note this week advising staff of the relevant rules and responsibilities of selling alcohol in the wake of the now global drinking craze.
Partner Lisa Sharkey, said that, although the majority of stunts seemed to happen away from licensed premises, it was important to consider the relevant, mandatory conditions applying to all premises selling alcohol.
She said: “Staff must not carry out, arrange or participate in any activities carried out for the purpose of encouraging the supply of alcohol on the premises, which carry a significant risk of leading to or contributing to ‘prejudice to public safety’.”
Public safety, as stated in the Guidance to the Licensing Act, includes prevention of accidents injuries, and other harm that can result from alcohol consumption, including unconsciousness and alcohol poisoning.
“Even though a premise may not be directly involved in the organisation of a ‘Neknomination’ stunt, all staff working within licensed premises should be made aware of the craze and instructed to take reasonable steps to ensure that such ‘games’ are not facilitated and action taken to prevent them if required,” she said.
Four people have reportedly died from ‘playing’ the Australia-originated social network drinking game, which requires the participant to drink a large quantity of alcohol, possibly of disgusting or unpalatable combinations, in as short a time as possible and film the results. He or she then nominates two others to do the same.
Drinkaware, the alcohol awareness charity, has called on parents to take the lead against the drinking challenge and help teenagers resist the online pressure to participate.
Chief executive Elaine Hindal said: “Parents have more influence than they think. We want to protect our children from the pressure to drink alcohol underage and can play a vital role in doing so by giving them the confidence to say no. It’s never too early to talk to your children about the risks of drinking underage and to remind them that if they choose not to drink they will not be alone.
“Young people should also be reminded that the behaviour of some older teens taking part in social media drinking games is not something to be copied – it can have serious implications. We believe it’s better to have the “alcohol chat” in the living room than in A&E.”