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Buying my 16year old a drink - refused!


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Old 10-08-2009, 00:19
halewood
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I was in a Pub/Restaurant today with the family - my wife, daughters aged 11 & 9 and my son aged 16.

We were having a meal and as usual asked everybody what they were having to drink. The children, water my wife lager and my son asked for a pint of cider.

I have for the past year or so let my son have one drink whenever we are out having a meal and thought it was in keeping with the law.

The waitress asked how old my son was I told her the truth - 16. To cut a long story short she told me it was in fact against the law to buy a minor alcohol. Without wanting to get into a arguement I just let it go and didn't let it spoil what was a good day out for us all.

Can anyone clarify the position on this as far as the law/licencee/etc goes when having an alcoholic drink and a meal being under 18.

Your help appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:23
f_196
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I thought anyone over 5 could have alcohol with a meal?
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:23
Cyeic
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Hmmm, according to this:

Under 5 – It’s illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under 5 except in certain circumstances (e.g. under medical supervision).

Under 14 - A person under 14 can't go into a bar or pub unless the pub has a 'children's certificate'. Without this certificate they can only go into parts that aren't licensed and where alcohol is either sold but not drunk (e.g. a sales point away from the pub), OR drunk but not sold (e.g. a beer garden or family room).

14 or 15 – They can go anywhere in a pub but can't drink alcohol.

16 or 17 – They can buy (or be bought) beer or cider so long as it's bought to eat with a meal, but not in a bar (i.e. only in a place specifically set aside for meals).

Under 18 – With the exception of having a meal in a pub, it's against the law for anyone under 18 to buy alcohol in a pub, off-licence or supermarket. It's also illegal to buy alcohol in a pub for someone who's not 18.

Anyone over 18 can buy and drink alcohol legally in licensed premises in Britain.
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:23
klbrock
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6598867.stm

Young people aged 16 or 17 can drink beer, wine or cider with a meal if it is bought by an adult and they are accompanied by an adult.

It is illegal for this age group to drink spirits in pubs even with a meal.

That is from 2007 though, but I'm not aware of any changes in law since then?
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:34
f_196
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Cyeic is right. I've just checked some other sources. You can only drink with a meal if your 16+
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:48
jackmcglen
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The letter of the law is that 16-17 year olds may have a drink with a meal, when accompanied. I have noticed that a lot of pubs will keep it simple and stick to the 18 rule though, as is their right.
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:48
jimmy7bellies
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Cyeic is right. I've just checked some other sources. You can only drink with a meal if your 16+
Which his son is so shouldn't of been a problem.
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:50
The Snakes
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In any case, a pub can refuse to serve you for any reason they see fit. So you can have no complaint.
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:53
jimmy7bellies
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In any case, a pub can refuse to serve you for any reason they see fit. So you can have no complaint.
Of course but the waitress is talking out of her arse here, it's not against the law. Had she said it's policy that we don't serve 16 and 17 year old alcohol with a meal then fair enough.
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:56
trevalyan
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you can't blame the establishment for not taking the risk. amongst this apparent culture of "dob thy neighbour" the place won't want any hassle brought upon themselves.
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Old 10-08-2009, 00:57
jimmy7bellies
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you can't blame the establishment for not taking the risk. amongst this apparent culture of "dob thy neighbour" the place won't want any hassle brought upon themselves.
What risk?
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:00
trevalyan
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of some do gooder reporting the place for giving beer to an apparently under age kid, and the ensuing questions and door knocking from the authorities that might follow

easier for a proprietor to say no than having to make exasperated explanations to somebody who turns up wanting to know the what's, where's and why's
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:01
alan_m
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Hmmm, according to this:

Under 5 – It’s illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under 5 except in certain circumstances (e.g. under medical supervision).

Under 14 - A person under 14 can't go into a bar or pub unless the pub has a 'children's certificate'. Without this certificate they can only go into parts that aren't licensed and where alcohol is either sold but not drunk (e.g. a sales point away from the pub), OR drunk but not sold (e.g. a beer garden or family room).

14 or 15 – They can go anywhere in a pub but can't drink alcohol.

16 or 17 – They can buy (or be bought) beer or cider so long as it's bought to eat with a meal, but not in a bar (i.e. only in a place specifically set aside for meals).

Under 18 – With the exception of having a meal in a pub, it's against the law for anyone under 18 to buy alcohol in a pub, off-licence or supermarket. It's also illegal to buy alcohol in a pub for someone who's not 18.

Anyone over 18 can buy and drink alcohol legally in licensed premises in Britain.
Although some things may be "legal" it's also at the discretion of the licensee. You may request a drink but the licensee, or staff, don't have to supply it to you.

The local licensing authorities may impose additional restrictions on an establishment.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:05
alan_m
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Risk of closure of the pub.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:16
jimmy7bellies
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Risk of closure of the pub.
Why do you think would they close a pub for a dad buying his 16 year old son a drink with a meal? It's within the law. As I said if they have a company policy not to serve 16 and 17 year olds alcohol with a meal then fair enough, they can refuse to serve anyone if they wish, no need to make up laws. I'm guessing the waitress is probably new and not fully aware of the laws. I would of asked to see what the manager said about it.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:20
jabegy
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I'm confused Either it's the law, or it isn't. Are some people saying that even though it is the law, it's open to interpretation. What's the point of having a law about it then.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:28
Andy Carlton
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Just make them dress older than they look...meal eaten...the drink is drank up...away you go...no harm done...establishment still open...no one knows... sorted!

No red-tape...no questions....
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:31
Cyeic
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I'm confused Either it's the law, or it isn't. Are some people saying that even though it is the law, it's open to interpretation. What's the point of having a law about it then.
My understanding is:

If something is illegal, a pub can't allow it.

If something is legal, it can take place, but the pub has the option of whether it does or not (as someone above says, "company policy").
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:39
donlothario
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Which his son is so shouldn't of been a problem.
But there was a bar there, so he wasn't allowed.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:02
o dot t
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But there was a bar there, so he wasn't allowed.
but they wasn't at the bar so he was allowed. (acording to my dad who used to run a pub)
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:22
lotty27
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Some pubs just have a rule of no alcohol sales for under 18's regardless of the situation, who is buying it etc. For some reason they think it's better to have one rule that fits all. Ridiculous

I agree with the OP - it is incredibly frustrating. It's not like he's out with a group of his mates and might cause/or simply be, trouble. He's having a meal with his parents and siblings and should be able to have a pint of cider with his meal
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:15
ladydragon
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Of course but the waitress is talking out of her arse here, it's not against the law. Had she said it's policy that we don't serve 16 and 17 year old alcohol with a meal then fair enough.
but they wasn't at the bar so he was allowed. (acording to my dad who used to run a pub)
The OP has only said it was a pub/restaurant...

AIUI, if the table is in an eating only area then yes, the establishment can choose to allow 16+ to drink alcohol with their meals... Up to the pub though...

If it's a table in the pub that can be used for eating or drinking then the 18+ rule applies...
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:56
ForestChav
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As has been said, it is legal for him to have it, but it is always at the discretion of the establishment whether or not to serve any customers regardless of age. Her explanation is wrong- but then she is probably poorly trained or has had it rammed in to her that she isn't to serve under 18s, or wasn't aware it was with a sit-down meal or that that particular situation exists.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:52
BoBaDoB
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i am sure the new licensing law states that it is illegal for someone over the age of 18 to purchase alcohol for someone under 18 - i can not remember if they changed the "minors can have a drink with a meal" part of the law or not.

If you read up on the licensing law 2003 then i am sure your answer would be in there.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:11
cultureman
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If it's simply company policy not to serve alcohol to 16/17 year olds, then it is encumbent [morally not legally] that they should state it prominently on the menu.

That way people can decide whether they want to eat there under those conditions or not.
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