Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 208 - Alcohol sales [16315/15] [Home delivery].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 208 - Alcohol sales [16315/15] [Home delivery]. (28 Apr 2015)

208. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views, especially in the context of public order, regarding the growing trend of home delivery of alcohol; her plans in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16315/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald):  The position is that conditions applicable to the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor are set out in the Licensing Acts 1833 to 2011. 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 licence, to take intoxicating liquor 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.


The Government Alcohol Advisory Group considered specific issues relating to 'distance sales' of intoxicating liquor in its 2008 Report. The Group drew attention to the requirement that payment must be made in such cases as part of the transaction, e.g. on-line shopping, and not later on delivery of the product. The Group noted that sales of intoxicating liquor which had been ordered by telephone or otherwise and which were paid for on delivery were illegal transactions and recommended that the Gardaí should target such delivery services with a view to prosecuting the offending licensees. Any information concerning transactions of this nature which are contrary to the provisions of the Licensing Acts should, therefore, be brought to the attention of the Gardaí for investigation and possible prosecution.


Moreover, under section 31 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1988 (as amended), it is an offence for a licensee to sell or deliver, or to permit any other person to sell or deliver, alcohol to any person for consumption off his or her premises by a person under the age of 18 years in any place except with the explicit consent of the person's parent or guardian in a private residence in which he or she is present either as of right or with permission.

The Government Legislation Programme provides for future publication of the Sale of Alcohol Bill. The Bill, which will update the Licensing Acts and replace them with provisions more suited to modern conditions, will provide an opportunity to further consider the difficulties arising in relation to the control of distance sales of intoxicating liquor and the enforcement of such controls.

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