George Best and the duties of the publican

[Well, it's a bit quiet in this group, so I thought I'd just toss in a grenade.]
The media are full of stories about Mr Geo. Best, sometime international footballer and now Britain's most famous liver transplantee. He's been on the wagon for quite some time following his op but apparently rolled off the wagon rather spectacularly at the weekend, to the extent that the police were called (allegations of assault, see and ).
There are reports that his wife is critical of the pub for serving him alcohol. There are also reports that the pub operator, Young's Brewery, has rejected any such criticism, saying that they "employ publicans, not doctors".
Now, I thought that one of the things about a pub was that it's licensed, and indeed its landlord is licensed, to look after the place and the drinkers therein. Various bodies which campaign to preserve the British public house make much of the idea that people drink there in a relatively safe environment, safe that is from the ill effects of over-indulging. As opposed to getting ratted at home or on a park bench somewhere, where there may be no-one to sober you up.
It's certainly a criminal offence for a landlord to serve intoxicating liquor to someone who is already drunk. Shouldn't it also be part of a landlord's responsibilities to decline service to those who, for whatever reason, literally can't take their drink?
I think Young's should be asking their pub manager (tenant?) some pretty searching questions, not dismissing the incident as none of their business.
Reply to
Daisy Hill

As a new Licensee I have to say it is certainly one of the hardest parts of the job to ascertain when someone has had enough, as you rightly point out it is illegal to serve alcohol to someone who is drunk, but this is a very grey area, if a person is rolling around drunk the action is obvious, (although not always easy), but at what point has someone had too much (we are allowed to sell alcohol, up to the point where the person becomes drunk!!) how do you tell? everyone is different, and the effects work differently on everyone! While I don't condone selling alcohol to this celebrity alcoholic to that point I think you should realise what a difficult thing you are asking us publicans to do, at the end of the day it's up to the individual (and his or her friends ) to decide when they have had enough, as in many things where alcohol is concerned the law is an ass (e.g. it's perfectly legal to allow a six year old child to consume a double scotch as long as he's in a restaurant having a meal and the drink was bought for him by a responsible (?) adult!! )
Reply to
Steve Chroscicki
In article , Daisy Hill writes
Absolutely not - typical of a nanny state attitude. If George Best has a death wish it's his problem and his alone.... Was he drunk? Was he causing a problem to others? I suspect neither.....
FWIW, don't even agree with the resources expended to restore his health after self inflicted liver damage.
Reply to
Tony Quinn
So you'd serve him - sort of like assisted suicide? Me, if Best came into my pub I'd gladly serve him mineral water but not alcohol.
Reply to
In message , marcb writes
If he walked up to me I doubt I'd recognise him without prompting, I certainly wouldn't have remembered his liver transplant. So he'd get served anything he wanted like any other drinker not obviously too drunk. I've heard there are a few non-football obsessed pub landlords around ;)
Did anyone confirm that he *drank* the drink, I've only seen reports he *bought* one, maybe the papers will be kicking themselves for not spotting the mistress he was actually buying it for ;)
Reply to
Paul Shirley
Source please?
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169C. (2) A person shall be guilty of an offence if, in licensed premises, he buys or attempts to buy intoxicating liquor on behalf of a person under eighteen.
169D. Sections 169A(1), 169B(1), and 169C(1) and (2) of this Act do not apply where-
(a) the person under eighteen has attained the age of sixteen, (b) the intoxicating liquor in question is beer, porter or cider, and (c) its sale or purchase is for consumption at a meal in a part of the licensed premises which is not a bar and is usually set apart for the service of meals.
By my reading this means that the minimum drinking age and the minimum purchase age with a meal is 16.
Reply to
Dominic Hargreaves
I find it quite straightforward to ascertain when someone's had too much and that the difficulty is in deciding how to break the news to them that they are not having any more.
Nine times out of ten the response is along the lines of "thanks for telling me, I'll be off then", but that 1 out of ten when the punter isn't taking no for an answer can be stressful, to say the least.
When someone has to be told they're not having another (and you suspect they aren't going to like it) it is wise to tell everyone behind the bar and your reliable regulars that the person is going to be refused before you actually have to do the telling.
I'm not suggesting you should hype everyone up for a bit of argy bargy I just think it helps if the body language of number of people at the bar is saying "you'd be daft to have another, that's why they're not letting you".
Reply to
Jeff Pickthall
And how would they be to know that, may I ask ?
People already tend to be irresponsible enough about alcohol, don't deresponsabilise them any further by leading them to believe that whatever happens top them through abuse of alcohol, the publican will be to blame.
Reply to
The Submarine Captain
If that is the case, he is pushing his luck. Wasn't the pub his local, just down the road from his home - and his wife?
In my experience, wives are telepathic over at least a couple of miles and know immediately (and instinctively) if you buy another woman a drink - no matter how innocently I hasten to add, in case mine - wife that is - happens to see this.
Regards 8^) KGB
Reply to

The way I read (probably wrongly) this is the kids can have a drink because you are not buying the drink on their behalf, they have not given you money to go and buy it. You are the purchaser and subsequently giving them the drink as a gift.
If it was intended that children shouldn't drink in the bar surely the law should simply say that.
Andy R
Reply to
Andy R
"Dominic Hargreaves"
The following extract has been taken from the 'Handbook for the National Certificate for Licensees (On-Licence)' published by the BIIAB ... I recently sat and passed the exam and it was one of the main questions on the exam paper.
'Prohibition on sale to, or consumption by, young persons under 18 of intoxicating drinks'.
Paragraph 55 states :
"Although consumption of intoxicating drinks by young persons aged under 18 is prohibited in A BAR, it is NOT unlawful for young persons aged 5 or over to consume such drinks in other parts of the premises, such as the garden or restaurant area. Such consumption will NOT render the licensee liable to prosecution, provided the drinks have been bought by an adult at his or her own expense."
So, at present the *Minimum purchase age* would be 16, under the conditions (i.e. with a meal and then only certain types of alcoholic drink in an area set aside for food as stated above in ... a) b) & c). There is an addition to (b) above ... it's ok to purchase Perry also !
And the *Minimum drinking age* would be 5 years and older, under the conditions I mentioned as set out in the handbook.
Hope this helps ?
Reply to
The Sec-RAT-ary
In message , KGB writes
There did seem to be comments about her talking to the press recently suggesting she's not very happy with him, reports that I believe started just before this incident. You have to wonder what a well known womaniser might be doing to annoy his wife-of-the-moment ;)
Was very entertaining seeing a fleet of satellite uplink vans parked at the pub filming him drink Perrier ;)
Reply to
Paul Shirley
In article , Jeff
Strangely enough the regulars (and most of the not too far gone customers) usually spot the most likely candidates for refusal before the bars staff do.
I for one usually help hold the door open...
Reply to
Steven Pampling
In article ,
Which from the accounts of the licensee would appear to only a little different from the tipple with alcohol that he had consumed on a few occasions - a spritzer.
Bit of a tone-down for someone that used to demolish whole bottles of spirits.
Ye Gods, can't people just others alone. Why can't the press pick on one of their own that probably drove away from the vulture hunt after having "just the one extra"?
The licensee wasn't concerned and it could be their livelihood down the pan if they knowing provide...
Reply to
Steven Pampling
In message , Daisy Hill wrote
Doesn't the Government sponsored health warning say that you should not consume more than 2 pints, or less, per day of something that is around minimum strength beer? Binge drinking (more than 2 pints in a single session ) is considered to be dangerous.
Should a landlord of a pub or beer festival organiser refuse to serve any customer more than two pints of beer per day?
Should any drinking premises be evacuated on health grounds if the level of cigarette smoke reaches levels were it would set off a domestic smoke detector alarm?
According to the health warnings you don't have to be drunk to do damage to your health. Should a landlord refuse to serve drink to those people who are overweight? Surely all those 'empty' calories in beer cannot be beneficial for those are more than 10 stone in weight?
I'm not sure who this G Best character is but it does appear that he is a failed celebrity from 30 or more years ago and this is just a media publicity stunt aimed at selling something he is writing/doing/appearing in.
Reply to
Alan - a made-up name if ever I've heard one - said
I think he should be allowed to make his own mistakes. You can't fence every potentially hazardous activity with more and more warnings. It's the mark of a civilised mature society that people are allowed to take part in activities which might be hazardous in certain circumstances.
Reply to

With respect, it's either the hopelessly naive or the eternally optimistic that could could ever imagine our contemporary as being 'civilised'. IMHO of course.
Reply to
Ruff Sailor

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