All persons or business places wishing to sell intoxicating liquor (beer, rum, wine and other spirits) must obtain a liquor licence pursuant to the Liquor Licences Act Chap. 84:10.
There are several different types of licences, depending on the nature of the applicant’s business:
- A Spirit Grocer’s Licence authorizes the sale of intoxicating liquor in a grocery or supermarket for consumption off the licensed premises only, and in any quantity, but only in bottle.
- A Spirit Retailer’s Licence authorizes the sale of liquor in any quantity for consumption either on or off the licensed premises.
- A Wine Retailer’s Licence authorizes the sale of beer and wine only, in any quantity for consumption either on or off the licensed premises.
- A Wine Merchants Licence authorizes the sale of wine or beer only, for consumption off the licensed premise only, and in quantity not less than 0.75 of a gallon of wine, or 1.5 gallons of beer at one time.
- A Restaurant Licence authorizes the sale or supply of intoxicating liquor to persons taking a meal in the restaurant for consumption at such meals.
- A Special Restaurant Licence authorizes the sale of intoxicating liquor to the public for consumption without taking a meal.
- A Special Hotel Licence authorizes the retailing of intoxicating liquors to the public for consumption on the licensed premises.
- A Spirit Dealer’s Licence authorizes the sale of intoxicating liquor, for consumption off the licensed premises only.
Any licenced retailer of spirits or wine and beer may apply to a licensing committee at any time for an Occasional Licence, on the occasion of any public entertainment, festivity or meeting. This type of licence is commonly used for parties and fetes.
Licences are generally granted in the name of individuals. They may also be granted jointly in the name of more than one person. In the case of companies, the licences shall be in the joint name of the company and of the manager or other servant of the company. Generally a person applying for a liquor licence must be over the age of 18, and must be of reputable character. All applicants must be registered with the Board of Inland Revenue.
An application must be made in writing to the Licensing Committee of the Magisterial District in area at least 21 days before the date of licencing session. The Notice Of Application must be lodged with the (1) Police Service; (2) Fire Service; (3) Ministry of Health; and (4) Customs & Excise Division. Approval from the Town & Country Department for the use of the premises for the sale of alcohol must be obtained, before making such an application. A floor plan of the premises must also accompany such applications.
The various agencies (health, fire, customs) each have their own requirements for various types of licences, including adequate water and drainage, proper washroom facilities, working fire extinguishers, seating accommodations, clearly labelled exits and storage rooms. Representatives from these agencies visit the premises and submit a report on their findings to the Court. The applicant and/or his Attorney-at-Law attends Court in his district on hearing of the application at the relevant session.
At the hearing, any person entitled to object to the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence may appear in person or through an Attorney-at-Law.
Persons who are found to be selling alcohol without a licence are liable to a fine and/or imprisonment.