The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has hailed the revised guidance for local authorities on licensing laws as "a victory for common sense".

The government-backed guidance includes a change in how alcohol sales should be supervised - something the ACS has been lobbying government on for more than three years.
ACS bosses say the alterations make it clear that a personal licence holder does not have to be on the premises at all times when alcohol is sold. It said that previous phrasing had left it open for local authorities to interpret that a licensed individual must be present at all times.
The new guidance also encourages the implementation of a 'Challenge 21' policy, and recommends that local government make it a licensing condition. Under the new guidelines, it should also be easier to change the name or address of a licence holder.
As part of The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, a new offence of persistently selling alcohol to children was introduced on May 3, 2007. An offence will be committed if, on three or more occasions in a period of three consecutive months, alcohol is unlawfully sold to a minor on the same premises. In addition, local authorities and police will have new powers to designate Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZs) as a last resort to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "I'm pleased that we now have clarity. We are now calling on government to deliver a consistent approach to interpreting and explaining how this law works."

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