Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
312. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding legislation and regulations governing deliveries of alcohol to private houses at night-time; if there are restrictions on same; his plans to amend this legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26276/09]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): The Government Alcohol Advisory Group considered issues relating to distance sales of alcohol in the Report which it submitted last year. Under section 17(3) of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003 it is an offence for a licensee, with intent to evade the conditions of the license, to take alcohol from the licensed premises for the purpose of its being sold on the account or for the benefit or profit of the licensee, or to permit any other person to do so. Moreover, under section 31 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1988 it is an offence for a licensee to sell or deliver, or permit any other person to sell, or deliver, alcohol for consumption by a person under the age of 18 years in any place except with the explicit consent of the persons’ parent or guardian in a private residence in which he or she is present either as of a right, or with permission.
In cases where alcohol is purchased from a licensee’s web site, e.g. on-line shopping, the Group drew attention to the requirement that payment must be made as part of the on-line transaction and not later on delivery of the product. The Group considered that sales of alcohol which had been ordered by telephone or text messaging and which were paid for on delivery were illegal and recommended that the Gardaí should target dial-a-can and similar delivery services with a view to prosecuting the offending licensees.
During discussions leading up to the enactment of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008, I undertook to examine the possibility of making it an offence for third parties to deliver alcohol from licensed premises to customers where payment has not already been made in advance of delivery. I intend to deal with this matter in the forthcoming Sale of Alcohol Bill.
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