07 January 2008>
It is a criminal offence to supply alcohol to under eighteens, it is an offence for under eighteens to buy alcohol and it is an offence for an adult to purchase alcohol and then give it to someone who is under eighteen.
It can sometimes be difficult for retailers and bar staff to judge the age of a young person standing before them. Because of this the Trading Standards Service offers a range of guidance to alcohol sellers to assist them. Caerphilly County Borough also offers free Validate "proof-of-age" cards to all Year 11 pupils in the borough.
In the pre-Christmas period several new initiatives were employed by Trading Standards to prevent under age teenagers being able to buy alcohol.
On the 29th November 65 bar staff were given a free daylong course on underage sales, serving drunks and drug awareness. 47 of these bar staff now have a formal qualification to help them, and the pubs and clubs they work for, stay within the law.
Also during November seven Trading Standards Officers were accredited by Gwent Police to issue £80 fixed penalty notices to anyone caught selling to underage drinkers. The first notice was issued in the weeks leading up to Christmas at a Caerphilly town centre pub.
The fact that the Trading Standards Officers can now issue the £80 notices means the service will be able to carry out test purchases with volunteers at off licences and on licences in response to complaints quicker than they have been able to do so before. Less police support is needed to carry out enforcement exercises as local authority staff now issue the notices.
Trading Standards also distributed free posters and stickers to all the on-licensed premises in the area during December. The posters and stickers, which are placed in staff areas, remind staff to be vigilant in serving to young people.
If you would like to receive advice on preventing sales at your premises or if, as a member of the public, you would like to report a problem premises, please contact:Trading Standards on 01443 235291.
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