Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Questions (157)

Róisín Shortall


157. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the increasingly common problem of off-licences delivering alcohol to homes and public places, and accepting cash on delivery; if he will confirm that this is an offence; if he will provide details of the number of prosecutions that have taken place in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50897/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Provisions relating to the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor are set out in the Licensing Acts 1833 to 2011. Under section 17(3) of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003 it is an offence for a licensee, with intent to evade the conditions of the licence, to take intoxicating liquor from the licensed premises for the purposes of its being sold on the account or for the benefit or profit of the licensee, or to permit any other person to do so.

The Government Alcohol Advisory Group considered specific issues relating to distance sales of alcohol in its 2008 Report. The Group drew attention to the requirement that payment must be made as part of the telephone or on-line transaction in such cases and not later on delivery of the product. It considered that the sales of alcohol products involving payment by the consumer on delivery do not comply with the existing statutory provisions and are, therefore, illegal.

Any complaints relating to the sale or delivery of alcohol received by An Garda Síochána are the subject of investigation and offenders dealt with in accordance with the law. The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. I have requested the CSO to provide statistics directly to the Deputy.