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News - 18 December 2009

Almost half of pubs sold alcohol to underage teens

Nearly 50 per cent of pubs tested by Trading Standards officers in Newbury sold alcohol to an underage volunteer. Pubs apppear to have a worse track-record than off-licences.

The test purchases, conducted in 21 pubs by underage volunteers during the past year, were part of Operation Drinksafe - a multi-agency operation to reduce underage sales. It seems pubs are worse offenders than off-licences in the area.

Since November 2008, Trading Standards officers have targeted 54 shops and off-licences and found that only six sold alcohol to underage volunteers. According to local Trading Standards officer Sean Murphy: “It’s not perfect but the percentage is dropping year on year.

"What is more of a concern is that we tested 21 pubs and 10 of them failed.” Mr Murphy said he thought the reason pubs were failing more than shops is because they were all tested on nights when door staff were not present. He said that door staff provided a “front line” and less confident bar staff found it difficult to refuse sales when they weren’t around. 

Read the rest of this item from the Newbury Weekly  here

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