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Govt Consulting on Age Verification in Connection with Alcohol Sales

The Government is consulting on whether to allow digital identities and technology to play a role in age verification for alcohol sales, as well as whether to amend legislation in order to specify that for sales of alcohol that do not take place face to face, age verification should take place at the point of delivery as well as sale.

The Government are considering whether the Licensing Act (the Act) adequately covers transactions that do not take place face to face. Currently the Act only sets out a requirement to verify age at the point of sale or appropriation to a contract, not at the point of delivery. They are therefore reviewing whether this is still right and whether there should additionally be checks at the point of delivery and / or service.

The options also consider checks to establish that an individual is not already intoxicated, and checks that a sale is not a proxy sale must take place at the point of sale/appropriation to a contract and also at the point of delivery/service.

In terms of technology, it is not just digital ID that is being considered, but also age estimation technology, that could be used to establish if an individual is of an age that allows them to legally purchase particular products.

These particular concerns have arisen due to the huge rise of delivery services, not only with door step services from supermarkets but also take away food delivery services.  The key driver is the protection of children from harm, meaning that alcohol must not be sold to someone under 18.  All must be done to ensure that alcohol does not fall into the wrong hands.

To have your say,  the full consultation document and please follow the link:

The consultation closes at 23:59 on 30 March 2024. Please do reach out to Chris Rees-Gay or your usual contact in the Woods Whur team, should you wish to discuss this further.