Sale of alcohol at events

Sale of alcohol at events

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

If you’re holding an event this summer that will need a special liquor licence, make sure to plan ahead and apply as soon as possible.
From 18 December this year, the process for getting a special licence will change when Central Government’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 comes fully into force. In the past, people have often left it late to apply for a special licence, something that was allowed under the old Sale of Liquor Act. Under the new law, all applications must be made at least 20 working days before the event is held (although exceptions can be made for unforeseen events, such as funerals).  In particular, applications for special licences for events planned for mid-February 2014 or earlier must be lodged by 18 December.
That’s because under the new Act, a ‘working day’ does not include weekends, statutory holidays or any day between the Friday 20 December and Wednesday 15 January. 

Other changes from 18 December include:

  •  applications will be decided by the new District Licensing Committees (DLCs).
  • the DLC must consider more criteria when deciding whether to grant an application. These include how the proposed   event will impact the good order and amenity of an area, and the design and layout of the area for the proposed event.
  • particular requirements may be imposed on large scale events, such as requiring a security plan and/or a plan to address   public health concerns.
  • three new fee rates for special licences. In most cases, the fee depends on the size and number of events covered by the   special licence.

So plan ahead to make sure you file your application in time to get your licence for a summer event.