Getting it right – Challenge 25
Challenge 25 was introduced by the alcohol standards group and built on the successful challenge 21 to help alcohol retailers in England and Wales meet their mandatory obligations under Licensing Act 2003.
One of the aims of the Licensing Act 2003 was to reduce the incidences of underage drinking in England and Wales.
This made it mandatory for all licensed premises and retailers to have an a to introduce an age verification process, the minimum requirement of this was that if a person appeared to be under 18 to the responsible person, then that person had to produce ID proving their age.
The ID needs to be a photo driving license, a proof-of-age card with either a hologram or an ultraviolet feature or a passport.
It also became mandatory for the responsible person to make sure that their staff were all trained especially those that were customer facing and served alcohol, and that they were retrained regularly.
Why is this important?
If they’re not trained and you get caught serving underage, you can get fined.
Not only the business but the individual server.
If they’re not challenging in the correct way, you could upset the people between the ages of 18 and 25, who are legally allowed to drink.
Why was 25 chosen?
Because it meant that people that were lucky enough to be 25 and looked a lot younger, they would get challenged and be okay, and the ones that were 18 but looked a lot older get challenged and refused drink.
It also became a criminal offence to use false ID so if an under 18 used a false ID and police caught them, they could be fined.
Now the challenge 25 is a suite of posters and assets that is already set up, downloadable to help a venue tick the box for the local licensing authorities for their age verification process.
So it’s not just a case of challenging someone, making sure your staff know what the correct ID is but it’s also keeping a log.
So the challenge 25 have a log book that you fill out every time you’ve challenged someone, or a member of staff has challenged someone that can be produced to the police and your local lighting authority to prove that you have indeed been checking for underage drinking. You can get all of this information from the wine and spirit trade association;
If you do it right you will keep your 18 to 25’s happy, you’ll keep you the right side of the law and you will have a successful business.
So challenge 25 helps you meet your obligations under the License Act 2003 as regards checking age verification for underage drinking.