Why drinking around your children could land you in jail

SUMMER is drawing ever closer and the beer gardens across our area will no doubt be packed as people look to make the most of the good weather.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 10:27 am
Make sure you don't get caught out by this 100-year-old law. Picture: Shutterstock

If you are planning a trip down your local, or to try out a new pub in the city, with your family, make sure you are aware of the Licensing Act of 1902. 

While the law might be well over a hundred years old, it still remains in force and could land you in trouble. 

The Act states that it is an offence to be ‘drunk while in charge of child’ and anyone found guilty could face prison time. 

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Read More

Read More
Tiger Tiger Portsmouth to close with three parties next week

The law states: ‘If any person is found drunk in any highway or other public place, whether a building or not, or on any licensed premises, while having the charge of a child apparently under the age of seven years, if the child is under that age, be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine or to imprisonment for any period not exceeding one month.’ 

So it would be wise to avoid ordering any Jagerbombs on the next family outing. 

According to solicitor advocate Joy Merriam there are no objective tests to see how drunk a parent is, if they are with a child aged seven or under, but that it is based around safeguarding. 

Speaking to The Sun, she said: ‘The threshold would be whether the child was compromised. If you're having lunch with a couple of glasses of wine, you probably wouldn't be considered drunk in charge of a child.

‘If you're obviously impaired, if it's a young child who needs you to be alert and capable of safeguarding them, that would be the real test.’

The Licensing Act of 1902 also deals with people who are drunk in public, stating that if a person is inebriated on the streets they can be ‘dealt with according to law’. 

It also bans the sale of alcohol to anyone who is ‘declared to be habitual drunkards’.