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Police issue update for beer home delivery services in NI

Police have issued an update to licensees who are considering offering a draught beer home delivery service.

Hatfield Bar in Belfast to the rescue, delivering fresh pulled pints of the Black Nectar, to peoples doors across Belfast,Dial a Pint delivered with all necessary protection. (Photos: Paul Faith)

Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roberts explained: “We previously issued a statement on 29 May 2020, after becoming aware of a Belfast Licensee offering a draught beer home delivery service.

“At that time, we identified a number of issues with this proposal and advised the Licensee that it was not compliant with Article 3 of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.  The Licensee discontinued the service at that time.  

“Following engagement between the Police and the Licensee and their legal representatives the service was subsequently re-commenced, after changes had been implemented and appropriate undertakings given in respect of insurance and health and safety legislation and bespoke terms and conditions of sale. We consider the re-modelled service now complies with relevant legislation.

“It is important to highlight that this is a very complex matter as any such service needs to satisfy a number of legislative requirements in addition to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 including, in particular, the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996; the Sale of Goods Act 1979, Health and Safety and Road Traffic legislation.    

“In particular, amongst other things, in order to comply with article 3 of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 the terms and conditions of relevant sales and the practical completion of such sale should be such that the conditions set out in section 20A of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 are met, together with any other necessary requirements, to ensure that sales take place and are completed on the licensed premises in an area licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor for consumption off the premises.

“The delivery of alcohol sold and delivered through such a service must also be conducted in such a manner as to comply with article 66(1)(a)-(d) of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996, including (without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing) that no intoxicating liquor is carried by a delivery vehicle used by the service which has not been pre-sold at the licensed premises.

“Steps will also have to be taken to ensure that appropriate insurance is in place for the service, that all relevant health and safety issues are addressed and that the service complies with the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 and updated guidance on relevant matters including social distancing.

“These various requirements have implications for where the alcohol being sold is stored, where the licensee receives the order, what a customer is told and agrees during the sale, when, where and how payment is made and received, when the liquor being sold is identified and appropriated to the contract, the making and retention of relevant records and requirements relating to transport and delivery of the alcohol sold.

Chief Superintendent Roberts concluded: “The various issues raised are not intended to represent an exhaustive list of the issues that might arise. Police would therefore advise any licensees considering introducing a similar service to take their own specific legal advice on any proposed service and to liaise with Police and its licensing officers on a case by case basis to ensure that any such proposed service meets all current legislative requirements and they have the correct licence in place."

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