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BILL TO INCREASE POWERS OVER ALCOHOL SALES TO UNDER-AGE DRINKERS APPROVED

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A private member's Bill which would increase the hand of environmental health officers and the police to prosecute ...
A private member's Bill which would increase the hand of environmental health officers and the police to prosecute off-licence staff and those working behind bars on trains, for example, was given an unopposed second reading.

Having come third in this session's ballot for private members' Bill, Paul Truswell, Labour MP for Pudsey, can anticipate his Licensing (Young Persons) Bill becoming law. He has government backing and all-party support for the measure which would close a loophole in the law.

At present, people who are not the licence-holders cannot be prosecuted for selling alcohol to under-age teenagers. So village and suburban off-licence-owners are at risk, but the national chains are not. The Bill would make the seller responsible, and Mr Truswell hopes his Bill will encourage the wine and beer chains to improve training for staff.

Supporting the measure, home office minister Mike O'Brien said it would fit in with the government's wider strategy to licensing laws, which would be outlined within the next few weeks.
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