Legal Q&A: DPS queries and personal licence holder presence

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Advice: what to do if your DPS takes leave (Credit: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/thinkstock.co.uk)
Advice: what to do if your DPS takes leave (Credit: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/thinkstock.co.uk)
This week's legal Q & A looks into queries around a DPS being on more than one licence, what happens when a DPS goes on leave and a query around a personal licence holder being present.

Can a DPS be named on more than one premises licence?

Q:​ I am a personal licence holder and also DPS at a small bar that I own and operate. I am looking to obtain another licensed premises and so wondered if it would be possible for me to be DPS at both or if I would need to go to the additional expense of employing a manager (to be DPS) at the new premises?

A: There is no requirement for the DPS to be present at the licensed premises at all times and so it is possible for you to be named as DPS on more than one (or even more than two) premises’ licences should you wish to be.

However, in being DPS you have a responsibility to be in day-to-day control of the premises, ensuring not only that the operation of the premises complies with the conditions on its premises licence (which will likely be different for
each venue), but that the licensing objectives are promoted and licensing law is followed.

Whether you are in day-to-day control of the premises could be impacted by a number of factors, including the distance between the premises in question and also the time you spend at each premises – for example, it would not look good if you were spending all of your time supporting the new venture.

If you do decide to go ahead and become DPS at both premises, it is important that your time is not split too thinly, although this may depend on the relative risks posed by both businesses (one may be a late bar, the other a restaurant, for example).

If you haven’t already, I advise that other members of staff obtain a personal licence, thus giving you flexibility and reassurance at both sites.

My DPS will be leaving to have a baby

Q:​ My DPS is soon to go on maternity leave but is intending to return to work, at least by the end of the year. Should I vary my DPS in the meantime?
 
A. Yes. 

PLH presence on premises

Q:​ I have been told that a personal licence holder (PLH) needs to be present on my premises at all times it is open, but I have not been doing this, should I have been?
 
A: It is important in the first instance that you check your premises licence for any conditions requiring a PLH to be present on the premises at all times – if this is the case then you would need to comply.
If there is no such condition on your licence then you do not need a PLH, or even the DPS, on the premises at all times.

The general requirement is that where a premises licence authorises the sale of alcohol, every supply of alcohol should be made or authorised by a PLH. While this authorisation does not need to be in a prescribed form, or even in writing, it is strongly recommended that any PLH gives a specific written authorisation.

This can be one single document with the names of the persons listed and signed by the PLH – it does not need to be reproduced for every sale. Remember to keep it up to date.

An authorisation in writing is useful in establishing due diligence in the event of enforcement, as well as a good training opportunity.

Related topics: Licensing law

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