Advice and guidance on the law relating to the sale and supply of alcohol. The council issues premises and personal licences for selling or supplying liquor under the Licensing Act 2003. The licensing system has replaced Justices licences that were issued under the old Licensing Act 1964.
To get a premises or personal licence in Eastbourne, go to our Apply for a Licence section. Premises that sell alcohol must have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), who must hold a Personal Licence.
What Does Sale or Supply of Alcohol Mean?
- sale by retail of alcohol
- supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a bona fide members club to, or to the order of, a member of the club (see the 'Private Members Clubs' page for qualifying conditions for bona fide clubs)
The sale of alcohol by retail is a sale of alcohol to any person except those described below (see wholesalers).
Any sale of alcohol is a sale of alcohol by retail regardless of the quantity of alcohol purchased and will require either a premises licence and a designated premises supervisor, or a club premises certificate or a Temporary Event Notice (TEN).
The sale of alcohol includes events where alcohol is included in the ticket price or no specific price is quoted per drink but donations are requested or accepted in respect of the alcohol. This includes charity events.
Definition of Alcohol
Alcohol is defined as spirits, wine, beer, cider or any other fermented, distilled or spiritous liquor except:
- Alcohol with a strength below 0.5%
- Flavouring essences and Angostura bitters
- Alcohol which is, or is in a medicinal product
- Denatured alcohol (methylated spirits) or methyl alcohol
- Liqueur confectionery
It is an offence to display alcohol for an unauthorised sale.
Do Alcohol Wholesalers Require a Licence to Trade?
Yes in some cases. Under the new system, for the first time wholesalers require a premises licence to sell alcohol in wholesale quantities to members of the public. No sales of any kind may be made to children.
Sales made to other traders for the purposes of their trade are not a licensable activity. Similarly, sales made to holders of premises licences, club premises certificates, personal licences and Temporary Event Notices are not a licensable activity if the sale is for the purposes authorised by those licences.
The Act does not provide a definition of wholesale quantity, unlike the old Licensing Act 1964. This is because the Act does not make special provision for the wholesale of alcohol to the public – all sales by retail are caught.
Prizes of Alcohol in Raffles and Tombolas
Raffle prizes of alcohol are exempt from needing a licence if all the following apply:
- The lottery is promoted as an incident of an exempt entertainment
- All proceeds of the entertainment and raffle (after deduction of expenses) are not used for private gain
- The alcohol is in sealed containers
- There are no monetary prizes
- Tickets are only sold during the entertainment at the premises where it takes place, and the raffle is drawn during the event
- Participating in the lottery or in gaming is not the main inducement to attend the entertainment