Underage drinking can carry several risks. This includes alcohol poisoning, accidents & injuries, a negative impact on brain development & education, and drinking alcohol can also compound mental health issues.
Trading Standards South West are launching a social media campaign for Alcohol Awareness Week, beginning on the 19th of November. The campaign will largely focus around awareness regarding the risks of underage drinking and the sale of alcohol to young people. It will also highlight the risks & concerns that businesses face when selling alcohol.
There will be an article released each day on www.tssw.org.uk covering the following topics:
19th – Trading Standards Warns of the Risks of Underage Drinking during Alcohol Awareness Week
20th – Fake Alcohol – Cheap Wines and Spirits at what Cost?
21st – Don’t Risk Your Licence – What is the Licensing Act 2003 and why is it Important?
22nd – Know the Risks of Underage Drinking and Where it Can Lead
23rd – Drinking to Excess can lead to Health Issues
If a business is caught selling alcohol to an underage person, both the business owner and the person who made the sale can be fined and/or receive a criminal record. It is also illegal to buy alcohol on behalf of an underage person (called proxy selling). If caught, you can receive an on-the-spot fine of £90 or face criminal prosecution with substantial fines and a criminal record.
Staff and business training are essential to prevent the sale of alcohol to young people, either directly or through proxy sales. Most of the time, an underage sale is made because staff aren’t properly trained in the law, or there isn’t a robust age-restricted sales policy in place.
Anthea Durant, Trading Standards Authorised Officer urges “Traders selling age-restricted goods (such as alcohol) not to put their livelihoods at risk and to use the Trading Standards accredited No Proof of Age No Sale online training resource to prevent the sale of goods that have an age restriction. This will also help businesses stay on the right side of the law”.
Trading Standards South West produces an age-restricted sales toolkit for businesses called No Proof of Age – No Sale. This online toolkit is designed give businesses an easy guide on how to implement an effective system to prevent the illegal sale of age-restricted goods and services to young people. The toolkit is supported by several Trading Standards Services across the South West and may be accessible for free or for a small fee. For more information, visit www.npoans.org.uk.