Last edited 09 Mar 2014

Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders

Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders (EMRO’s) were created by the Licensing Act 2003 and extended by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, but did not commence until 2012. They were introduced along with a range of other measures in order to re-balance licensing in favour local communities and provide better tools for tackling alcohol-related problems in local areas.

EMRO’s give licensing authorities the power to tackle problems such as; crime and disorder, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance caused by late-night drinking. They can do this by restricting the sale of alcohol for any period between 12 midnight and 6 am if they consider this appropriate for the promotion of their licensing objectives.

There are no exemptions for different types of premises, EMRO’s can apply to premises licences, club premises certificates and temporary event notices within a specific area. However, they may not apply to the supply of alcohol to residents through mini-bars, room service in premises with overnight accommodation or on New Year’s Eve.

Members of the public can suggest EMRO’s, as can the Police and Crime Commissioner. Licensing authorities have to advertise proposed EMRO’s and provide evidence justifying them, as well as considering representations before they are introduced. A licensing authority proposing to make an EMRO must hold a hearing to consider any relevant representations, unless the authority and each person who has made such a representation agree that a hearing is unnecessary.

Appeal is only possible by Judicial Review.

There are some concerns that well-run premises could be affected by EMRO’s simply because they fall within the specified area that the licencing authority is trying to tackle.

The first process to make an EMRO was started in October 2013 by the London Borough of Lambeth, however, both this, and an application in Blackpool failed, bringing into doubt the effectiveness of these orders. (Ref The Publican's Morning Advertiser, Lambeth rejects EMRO after claiming the measure 'needs reviewing' 6 March 2014)

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