Relevant offences and personal licence applications

What are relevant offences and will they effect a personal licence application?

What are relevant offences?

‘Relevant offences’ are offences that could rule out the granting of a personal licence or renewal. Relevant offences, as a category, are created and defined by the Licensing Act 2003, and are deemed to be offences that bring into question the suitability of an individual to authorise the sale of alcohol.

Relevant offences include:
• those involving serious crime;
• those involving serious dishonesty;
• those involving controlled drugs;
• certain sexual offences; and
• offences created by the Act.

Read the full list of relevant offences.

What about drink driving offences?

Questions about drink driving offences are probably the most common query of this kind submitted by personal licence applicants. Unfortunately, drink driving offences are classed as relevant offences. The good news is that a drink driving offence is considered a ‘spent offence’ (see below) after a relatively short period of time.

CRB check

Part of a personal licence application is a declaration of offences, detailing any relevant or foreign offences. A CRB basic disclosure check must be included with this document. The purpose of the CRB check is to flag up relevant offences. Nevertheless, it is vital that you do not withhold or conceal details of a relevant offence/offences during your application procedure, as to do so is a serious criminal offence.

Foreign offences

All foreign offences must be detailed with your application. They may not be relevant offences, but must be considered, as offences under foreign law, which are equivalent to relevant offences, will not necessarily exist in exactly the same form as relevant offences.

Spent offences

In time, a ‘relevant offence’ will become a ‘spent offence’ in the eyes of the licensing authority. The precise time duration varies depending on the conviction in question- speak with your local licensing authority in doubt.

Conviction while holding a personal licence

A personal licence holder must produce his/her personal licence during a court appearance. If that is not practical, he/she must notify the court of the existence of the personal licence.

If a licence holder is convicted of a relevant or foreign offence while holding a personal licence, they must as soon as reasonably practicable inform the licensing authority which granted the licence of the conviction.

Failure to comply with this leglislation is an offence.


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