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11th March 2015

New posters set out the law on serving alcohol

A new poster campaign to help licensees raise awareness of the laws on buying alcohol for a drunken person, or knowingly selling alcohol to a person who is drunk, has been launched today. As well as supporting staff, the posters will raise public awareness, helping to ensure a safe and sociable drinking environment for all.


The BBPA has worked with National Pubwatch and Drinkaware, with input from the Home Office, to create the two new designs, which can be downloaded free of charge from the BBPA’s website (hyperlink). They are also available on the National Pubwatch website for local Pubwatch scheme members to download and will be made available to the Government’s 20 Local Alcohol Action Areas and to BBPA member companies to promote or distribute to their pubs.


It is an offence under the Licensing Act 2003 to knowingly sell alcohol to a drunk, or to obtain alcohol for a drunken person for consumption on a licensed premises. The two posters address each of these two issues in an open and accessible way for both customers and staff.


The posters form part of a range of initiatives from the BBPA and the wider industry, to promote responsible drinking and help pubs operate responsibly. These include giving customers a wider choice of lower-strength products and smaller servings, providing alcohol unit-awareness information in pubs and working to prevent underage sales through the industry’s successful ‘Challenge 21’ campaign.


Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone said:


“Raising awareness of the law is a key part of tackling the significant problems around drunken and disorderly behaviour.


“We challenged the alcohol industry to do more to promote responsible drinking and I welcome the British Beer and Pubs Association’s (BBPA) campaign.


“The cost of alcohol-related harm to society is unacceptable and the Home Office, together with Pubwatch and Drinkaware, supported the BBPA on this work to help raise awareness of the criminal offences around selling alcohol to, and buying alcohol, for a person who is already drunk.”



Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, comments:


“These posters are designed to help licensees, who can be put in a very difficult position and risk breaking the law if pressured to serve drunken customers.  We need to make sure that the public fully understands that these are offences. Working in partnership with the Home Office, National Pubwatch and Drinkaware on initiatives such as this is a highly effective way of promoting responsible retailing.”

Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, comments:


“We are delighted to be involved in the BBPA’s campaign to help their members raise awareness of the laws on buying for, and selling to, people who are drunk. This is a valuable contribution towards efforts to reduce the impact of alcohol related anti-social behaviour.”


Steve Baker, Chairman of National Pubwatch comments:


“National Pubwatch supports this initiative which is aimed at informing customers that licensees are breaking the law if they knowingly sell alcohol to someone who is drunk. It is great that the industry is demonstrating that it is being proactive.”




For further information please contact:

Neil Williams, Head of Media Tel: (020) 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

Rebekah Kendrick, Communications & Campaigns Officer Tel: (020) 7627 9155


Note to editors:


Further information and posters are available here:

The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.

Neil Williams

Head of Media

British Beer & Pub Association

020 7627 9156

07974 249 779