Friday, 21 May 2010

Donny Fiasco

Preventing underage sales of alcohol is a serious business, you know. That's why the penalty for serving alcohol to a minor is £5,000 for each offence.

It's a drug, you see. It's lethal to young bodies, so not a drop should ever be allowed to pass their lips until it's magically less dangerous on their 18th birthday.

That's why local authorities are always on the lookout for big, strong 17 year olds, who look like rugby players, to send out to unsuspecting businesses and try to catch them out.

With penalties so high, a trader who is caught serving alcohol to a minor can potentially suffer catastrophic financial hardship. He could even lose his business as a result. And rightly so, eh? How dare they facilitate the risk of a minor possibly getting drunk.

So what happens in this situation then?

Youngsters recruited to catch pubs serving underage drinkers "ended up blotto" according to the Daily Star. A Doncaster Council spokesman is quoted: "Unfortunately on viewing our own camera footage taken on the evening, it can be seen that the volunteers took it upon themselves to drink some of the alcohol. This is not in accordance with the briefing given prior to their test purchase."
I take it a crippling fine will be applied to the council officer responsible for allowing this to happen? Perhaps their livelihood will be threatened with a P45.

Nah, thought not.


11 comments:

J Bonington Jagworth said...

Isn't this agent provocateur stuff? And how much does the under-age consumer of the alcohol get fined?

Reminds me of the pet-shop owner recently nobbled for selling one of those dangerously addictive goldfishes to a 14-year old. Apparently, there is so little crime about that local authorities have to go round creating it...

Joe Public said...

An expression involving the words Gamekeepers & Poachers springs to mind.

Curmudgeon said...

Wonderful – you couldn't make it up. And I wonder how many of those beefy 17-year-old lads actually do enjoy a pint or two when not acting as agents provocateurs.

Paul said...

Curmudgeon: The best idea would be to refuse to serve them even after their 18th birthday as punishment (on the basis that no shop or pub has to give a reason to refuse service). If all the shops did that...

Chuckles said...

Entrapment, plain and simple, and conspiracy to do so on top of that. Mens rea is nil.

Fanshaweflyer said...

In one of my local supermarkets a young(ish) man who could have been 30 years old, was asked for 'ID'.He said he was flattered.

Sinister though. Mission creep. The notices say you have to look 25.

I made my purchase successfully, though I volunteered the information that I was 74.

(Laughter).

Mark Wadsworth said...

hee hee, good spot.

@ Chuckles, this is a strict liability offence so mens rea is completely irrelevant.

Curmudgeon said...

I'm far too old now to pass for under 25, but if I did it would be joy indeed to buy £200 worth of frozen stuff and one bottle of beer, and then leave it all at the till if asked for ID.

Although the supermarkets claim it is just "policy", and the checkout operators are just cogs in a large machine, to my mind it is effectively levelling a false accusation against someone.

Junican said...

Yes, Curmodgeon, you are quite right. I too am too old to be mistaken for a sub-18 year old. But, if I was 19, and AWARE of the actual law, I might very well become extremely unco-operative. I might well say, "I can state that I am over 18. I do not have to prove it. Serve me." And just stand there and refuse to move. All the better if one has a friend videoing the proceedings. It amazes me who many people fall for this clap-trap. Why do people not fight against it? It really is very simple - just do not get upset and angry - just refuse to move - let a queue build up.But, of course, be absolutely certain that you are correct.

Fanshaweflyer said...

Re Mark Wadsworth's comment it's an interesting point about 'mens rea' -though I had to look it up. I wonder whether the psychological agenda underlying this 'Under 25' business is to make people feel or regard themselves as 'guilty' when they are in fact completely innocent. Destruction of people's peace of mind is REALLY bad for their health ....

Chalcedon said...

I think the law says that an adult can take a 5 year old into a pub. And that adult can buy a drink for the minor. and that child can drink the drink, be ir Coca cola or beer quite legally. Can't remember if a meal is required. so let's say one is. This is aapparently still perfectly legal. as long as the 5 year old doesn't buy the drink personally. Is this madness or what?