Early Morning Restriction Orders

Napthens - October 18th 2012

Regulations have now been published covering Early Morning Restriction Orders (EMROs) and the Late Night Levy (LNL), due to come in to force on 31 October 2012.

The Licensing Act 2003 (Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders) Regulations 2012 state that the EMRO must be advertised for 42 days, during which a notice of the EMRO has to be published on the local authority's website and a notice has to be displayed where it will bring the proposals to the attention of persons who have an interest in the EMRO. The proposal also has to be advertised in a local newspaper once within the time frame and notice has to be sent to all affected persons, which would include premises licence holders and club certificate holders.

Representations to the proposals will have to be made in writing within the 42 day period. If there are representations, a hearing must be held within 30 working days of the end of the 42 day representation period. The authority must make its decision within 10 working days of the hearing and as soon as it has, notice of that decision should be sent to all effected persons within 7 days. The authority also has to publish the Order on their website and display a notice in the area the EMRO will affect for no less than 28 days.

There are exemptions to EMROs including for people staying in hotels or similar venues such as guest houses, lodging houses or hostels. However, guests will only be able to consume the alcohol in their room. The period betwen New Year's Eve and New Year's Day has also been excluded and that applies to all premises which are able to supply alcohol for consumption on the premises.

The Late Night Levy (Expenses, Exemptions and Reductions) Regulations 2012 give a detailed list of the exemption categories and the permitted reduction categories. The exemptions, which are at the local authority's discretion, include:

  • Hotels, guest houses, lodging houses or hostels
  • Theatres (subject to meeting certain criteria)
  • Cinemas (subject to meeting certain criteria)
  • Bingo halls (if venue has the appropriate gaming licence and the primary activity is bingo)
  • Community Amateur Sports Clubs
  • Community premises (such as church halls, chapel halls, village halls, parish halls or similar buildings)
  • Public Houses in rural settlements (subject to meeting certain criteria)
  • Businesses/people involved in Business Improve Districts (BID's) which have been established for "relevant purposes"
  • Premises that are only authorised to supply alcohol for consumption on the premises beyond the hours covered by the LNL on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day

The discretionary permitted reduction categories cover:

  • Members with "relevant arrangements"
  • Licensed premises with small business rate relief

A "relevant arrangement" is one which has been established for purposes "which are likely to result in the reduction or prevention of crime and disorder in connection with the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6am". 

The arrangement will require its members to take steps to promote the purposes described above and the arrangement has to "contain provision for the cessation of the membership of a holder of a relevant late night authorisation who has failed to take steps to promote the relevant purposes". This will include premises who are active members of schemes such as Best Bar None and Pubwatch, as long as they comply with the Crime and Disorder purpose. 

If licence holders fall into one of these categories then they may benefit from a 30% reduction in the LNL payable.