§ Mr. Fry
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will establish a review of the licensing laws with regard to restricting retail sales to establishments easily accountable for sales to those under the legal minimum age for purchase and to consider whether the total number of retail outlets should be reduced.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
We are not persuaded that a further review of the licensing laws is required for these particular purposes. It is the responsibility of individual licensees to ensure that the law on the sale of alcohol to those under 18 is observed. To meet the widespread concern about the extent of under-age drinking, the Licensing Act 1988 strengthens the law on sales to young people, and will require sales in off-licensed premises by staff under the age of 18 to be effectively supervised. Licensing justices can already take into account local circumstances in reaching decisions on the grant or renewal of licences in their area.