Legal Q&A: under-18s in pubs and temporary event notices

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Age restrictions: licences may vary between premises
Age restrictions: licences may vary between premises

Related tags: Temporary event notices, License

This week's Q&A looks at the rules around under-18s in pubs and issuing temporary event notices (TENs).

Entry to under-18s on licensed premises

Q:​ My son and his friends are in their last year of school and while a number of them are now turning 18, my son’s birthday is not until early next year. Some of his mates are saying that he can go to the pub with them as long as he does not buy or drink any alcohol. Is that correct?

A: In theory yes, because anybody aged 16 or over can go into licensed premises whether or not they are accompanied by an adult.

However, in practise, premises licences may restrict persons under the age of 18 being there unless accompanied by an adult, or indeed prevent them from being there at all, or require that they leave by a stated time. Any such restriction on the licence would “trump” the general legal position.

Alternatively, depending upon such things as the location of the premises, the day of the week and time of night, then door staff or the owner of the premises may in any event refuse entry to your son and/or his friends because of their age. There is an absolute right for the owner of a property to refuse entry to anyone other than on discriminatory grounds such as sex, religion or disability.

In short, I suspect your son may find some difficulty in getting into the pub with his friends, not least because once he is in it would be very difficult for staff to ensure he was not drinking alcohol which may have been bought by his friends (which I am sure, of course, he would not do).

Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning

Q:​ I recently issued a series of temporary event notices (TENs) for two separate events at my pub over the same weekend. The first one running from Friday into Saturday, and a separate function running from Saturday into Sunday. I issued two separate TENs but the licensing authority have said that I should have issued a single TEN. Is this correct?

A: Yes it is, because there must be a gap of at least 24 hours between the end of one TEN and the start of another which has been given by the same person or spouse, relative, agent or an employee of that person. In other words, it is fine to have back-to-back TENs issued where the events are organised by different people – for example in a church or village hall – but where they are being organised by the same person or persons related to that person (and that includes employees of the company that may own a pub), then there has to be a gap of at least 24 hours between the first TEN coming to an end and the second one starting.

As the licensing authority said, the alternative is for you to simply put the two events on a single TEN which can cover up to 168 hours (a week). Hopefully you are not too late to do this.

Related topics: Licensing law

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