Licensing Laws In ENGLAND After 9pm

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oli800 | 22:14 Fri 27th Feb 2009 | Family
18 Answers
Just been to a pub in Guiseley, Leeds, after a curry just for a drink to see my brother and father.
We were as a family, I'm 43 and a regular.
My son who's 18 was ID'd for a J20, his girlfriend 19 was too ID'd.
However, I have a daughter who is 16, but she obviously had no ID and it was 9.10pm so she was refused and asked to leave the pub.
Is there a specific law on this in ENGLAND??
I know there is in Ireland but I can't find anything for ENGLAND..
Any help much appreciated!!

PS. Anyone with negative comments 'children shouldnt be in pubs after 9pm anyway' please buzz :)


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hi im not sure if there is a law on all pubs but i was lead to believe that it was down to the pub owners.
i live in birmingham and all the restaurants/pubs here ask that children leave by 9pm too. they will not serve any childrens meals after 8pm. there is normally a sign above the bar stating this.
Yes there is a law that some (but not all) pubs must follow stating that all persons under the age of 18 must be off the premises by 9pm.

If memory serves, there is also a law where under 14's cannot go into a licensed premises unless accompanied by an adult.

This may sound a bit obvious, but if the adult is in the beer garden, then technically, any under 14's with them must be accompanied inside if they wish to go to the toilet.

Its been a while since I worked in pubs, but think thats pretty much correct. If I remeber the name of the law, i will let you know.
Just noticed this is posted in thew family section, but you will probably get better more specific answers if you re post in the 'law' section.

They are a very knowledgable bunch.
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hi RCL thanks for your reply!!
do we know which pubs carry the law and have not just got ***head bar staff??
I thought it was a blanket law for all pubs. I worked in a few in the past, and theay all needed under 18s off the premises by 9pm.

The same goes for my local.

I mentioned some, not all, because I am not sure if the family aimed pubs have an exceptioin e.g. wacky warehouse and such places that are specifically aimed at families with children.
There's no general law, but . . .

As long as such things as racial discrimination are avoided, any publican has the right to refuse entry to anyone (for whatever reason he likes - or even in the complete absence of a reason) at any time.

Additionally, when applying for a premises licence the applicant is obliged to include "the steps which it is proposed to take to promote the licensing objectives". (Licensing Act 2003, Section 17, Paragraph 4(g)). This is a wonderfully vague requirement (which applies just as much to licenses for cinemas or late night food outlets as it does to pubs). However most applicants (particularly the larger pub chains) will include a declaration that they'll not permit minors to be on the premises after a certain time (if at all). Anything included in that statement will form part of the conditions appended to the premises licence of the pub. (i.e. the publican will be legally obliged to stick to the rule which he, or his employers, created in order to obtain the premises licence).

In practice many licensing authorities won't grant a premises licence to a pub unless the applicant includes a statement regarding the pub's policy on the presence of minors.

I know it wasn't my question, but thanks chris. I just new that if we didn't get kids out by 9pm, the boss threw a hissy saying we were breaking the licence.
I was typing (and checking my facts) while others were posting.

Rcl1's post refers to the old rules (under the Licensing Act 1964) which barred under-14's from pubs (other than in 'family rooms' where there was no bar serving alcohol or in designated restaurant areas). Children were permitted to pass through licensed areas to access facilities such as toilets. (14 to 17 year olds were permitted in pubs but not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol). That legislation was repealed by the 2003 Act.

Theres me showing my age then.

Sorry if i mislead. I had the best of intentions.
In Ember Inns, I believe, under 14s are not even allowed on the premises at any time
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rcl1 thanks for all your help - a reply is better than no reply!!

The guy behind the bar p****d me off really by being quite rude saying to myself 'have you got a problem'.

This might sound quite petty following it up, but will information be provided on the application to see if the pub DID write this statement in. The pub chain is Ember Inns if that helps??

I would just LOVE to be really smug and lay down the law to that twerp behind the bar!!

Anyone else having memories here of standing outside in the rain, bottle of lemonade with a limp straw in one hand and an arrowroot in the other?

I don't know the legalities, but as said, if it is a rule of the chain or licensee, well it's down to them.
My post crossed with Rcl1's again, so I'll now say thank you to him for his comment.

The Licensing Act 2003 is interpreted very differently across the country. Section 18, Paragraph 2 of the Act makes it clear that local authorities must grant all applications for licences unless there is a good reason not to. Further, the implications of the Act are that every licence application should be considered separately. (i.e. local authorities must not apply 'blanket policies').

In North Norfolk a large number of pubs applied for 24 hour licences (even though hardly any of them, if any, actually planned to open for 24 hours). The local authority stuck by the rules and (in the absence of any reasons to do otherwise) granted a large number of 24 hour licences. Consequently there are now more 24 hour licences in rural North Norfolk than anywhere else in the country.

Havering Borough Council, however, made a blanket decision that they'd only permit late drinking within Romford town centre. Any pub from outside that area applying for a 'late' licence would automatically have their application rejected. That decision was (and remains) unlawful but, to the best of my knowledge, no publican (or pub chain) has yet taken the council to court to challenge the decision (probably because of the cost of doing so).

Similarly, some licensing authorities have adopted a 'blanket rule' (whether as a minuted resolution, as in Havering, or more subtly) regarding the presence of minors in pubs. (The 9pm cut-off is extremely common). More enlightened (and law-abiding) authorities, such as North Norfolk, stick to the law and consider every application on its merits.

You're welcome although this he is a she.
Firstly, my apologies to Rcl1 for attributing the incorrect gender ;-)

Secondly, a minor addition/correction to an earlier post (although not relevant to Oli800's question):
Young persons under 16 years of age are prohibited from entering pubs, unless they're accompanied by an adult. (Section 145, Licensing Act 2003)

Far more relevant to the original question:
"The holder of the premises licence must secure that . . the summary of the licence or a certified copy of that summary . . .. (is) . . .prominently displayed at the premises"
(Paragraph 3, Section 57, Licensing Act 2003).

I live in Birmingham and my local won't let children under 16 in full stop! But the one down the road lets them in (supervised by parents) but they have to leave by 9pm, so maybe it's down to the landlord's descretion xx
IDed for a J2O??! Seems a bit excessive, isn't that a soft drink? Can understand if they thought your son might be under 16 and wanted him to leave, but clearly they didn't or they'd have asked him to like they did your daughter. I can't really see how a pub can get into trouble for serving a possible under-18 a soft drink if they're satisfied they're over 16.

I was once IDed in a pub at 19 and then asked to leave when I couldn't produce ID, which I thought was a bit weird and out of line. It was a Saturday afternoon in a student city and I'm generally told I look older than I am, and not 6 years younger - 1 or 2 for the drink was understandable!
Whitbread bars do not allow under 18s in the bar after 9pm

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