Licensing update: unlimited fines in magistrates courts for England & Wales

Those convicted of offences under the Licensing Act 2003 can now face unlimited fines following the removal of maximum penalty caps.

These new unlimited fines should act as a serious deterrent to those who choose to ignore licensing regulations. They underline the fact that holding a licence is a privilege and come with significant responsibilities.

Some of the offences now with unlimited fines under the Licensing Act are:

  • s.136 – Unauthorised Licensable Activities (previously capped at £20,000)
  • s.146 – Sale of alcohol to children (previously £5,000)
  • s.147 – Allowing the sale of alcohol to children (previously £5,000)
  • s.147A – Persistently selling alcohol to children (previously £20,000)
  • s.150 – Knowingly allowing the consumption of alcohol on relevant premises by children (previously £5,000)

Courts are still required to take into account all of the circumstances of the case on sentencing. This will include an assessment of the facts, any mitigation and the reward of the individual/company convicted.

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