Belfast Telegraph

Bid to tackle under-age drinking

Pubs and clubs found selling drink to under-18s will begin totting up penalty points after new legislation to combat the offence came into effect.

Reaching 10 points within three years will result in a suspension of their licence or registration.

Under the law changes, those wanting to buy alcohol can now only use approved ID documents - such as passports and driving licences.

The measures were introduced by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland.

The legislation will enable a court, following conviction, to endorse penalty points on a liquor licence or a club's certificate of registration for breaches.

On accumulation of 10 penalty points within any three-year period a licence or certificate will be suspended for a minimum of one week and a maximum of three months.

Establishments are now compelled by law to display signage highlighting offences relating to the sale of alcohol to under-18s.

"Under-age drinking is a major problem in our society," said Mr McCausland.

"The introduction of this legislation goes some way to tackle this problem. It will make it more difficult for a young person under 18 years of age to enter licensed premises and purchase or consume alcohol.

"Ultimately it's about taking care of the health and well-being of our young people."

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