The law surrounding the licensing of pubs, hotels, restaurants and other places where alcohol is being sold in Northern Ireland is primarily governed by a piece of legislation known as The Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.
License To Sell Alcohol
It is an offence to sell alcohol without a license. It is also an offence for an individual to be found upon a premise which is unlicensed. The general permitted hours for a licensed premise such as a public house are from 11.30am until 11pm. Specific applications for additional permitted hours can be made to the Court to extend these hours to allow opening until 1am on weekdays and 12am on a Sunday. Northern Ireland still retains restrictions on the sale of alcohol on Good Friday and Christmas Day.
Licenses can only be granted to a person who is deemed fit with regards to their character, reputation and experience within the license trade.
Renewing Liquor Licenses
All intoxicating liquor licenses have to be renewed on a five-yearly basis by the local Magistrates Court and all transfers of licenses as a result of sale, death, change of name or other relevant circumstances must be approved by the Magistrates Court.
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