Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

Object of the Act

The object of the Act is that:
(a) the sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol should be undertaken safely and responsibly; and
(b) the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol should be minimised.
Harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol includes—
(a) any crime, damage, death, disease, disorderly behaviour, illness, or injury, directly or indirectly caused, or directly or indirectly contributed to, by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol; and
(b) any harm to society generally or the community, directly or indirectly caused, or directly or indirectly contributed to, by any crime, damage, death, disease, disorderly behaviour, illness, or injury of a kind described in paragraph (a).

District Licensing Committee

From 18 December 2013 the district licensing committee (DLCs) will make decisions on all licences and managers certificates.

The main functions of the licensing committees are:
(a) to consider and determine applications for licences and manager's certificates; and
(b) to consider and determine applications for renewal of licences and manager's certificates; and
(c) to consider and determine applications for temporary authority to carry on the sale and supply of alcohol
(d) to consider and determine applications for the variation, suspension, or cancellation of special licences; and
(e) to consider and determine applications for the variation of licences (other than special licences).

The district licensing committee consists of three members appointed by the territorial authority as drawn from the list of members who may sit on the committee. Meetings may be held at any time and place it or its chairperson decides. The meetings will be publicly notified and are held in public.

Where no objection has been filed and no matters of opposition have been raised the alcohol license application may be determined by the chairperson alone.

Where a meeting is held the decision of a licensing committee on any matter is determined by a majority of the valid votes recorded.

Local Alcohol Policy

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 allows territorial authorities to develop local alcohol policies (LAPs). A local alcohol policy (LAP) is a set of decisions made by a territorial authority in consultation with its community about the sale and supply of alcohol in its geographical area.Once a LAP is in place, licensing bodies will have to consider the policy when they make decisions on licence applications.

What can be included in a LAP?

A local alcohol policy may include policies on any or all of the following matters relating to licensing (and no others):
(a) location of licensed premises by reference to broad areas:
(b) location of licensed premises by reference to proximity to premises of a particular kind or kinds:
(c) location of licensed premises by reference to proximity to facilities of a particular kind or kinds:
(d) whether further licences (or licences of a particular kind or kinds) should be issued for premises in the district concerned, or any stated part of the district:
(e) maximum trading hours:
(f) the issue of licences, or licences of a particular kind or kinds, subject to discretionary conditions:
(g) one-way door restrictions

Process of developing a LAP

  1. Development of a draft LAP in consultation with Police, licensing inspectors and Medical Officers of Health
  2. Consultation with the community on the draft policy using the special consultative procedure in the Local Government Act 2002. The draft policy is considered by the Council.
  3. Preparation of a provisional policy based on consultation feedback
  4. Public notice of the provisional policy. The LAP can be appealed at this stage*.Appeals on the provisional policy is heard by the Alcohol and Regulatory Licensing Authority (ARLA).
  5. Adoption of the provisional policy. A provisional policy becomes final 30 days after it is publicly notified (or after any appeals are resolved).

When producing a draft policy, a territorial authority must consider a range of factors set out in the legislation.

*Only a person who made a submission on the draft local alcohol policy can appeal any element of the provisional policy. Police and Medical Officers of Health have statutory rights of appeal. The appeal must be filed with the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority within 30 days of the public notification of the provisional policy. The only ground for appealing an element of a provisional LAP is that it is unreasonable in light of the object of the Act.