Drink Banning Orders

What is a drink banning order?

 A drink banning order is a specific order from a civil court imposed on an individual who has behaved in a disorderly manner or who has committed a criminal offence while under the influence of alcohol.  They were introduced on the 31 August 2009 and are covered by the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 and the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (Drinking Banning Orders) (Approved Courses) Regulations 2009.

A drink banning order can be put in place to prevent an individual from doing the following:

  •   Entering premises that sell alcohol
  •   Entering pubs / clubs in a specified area or vicinity

A drink banning order is a civil order meaning that it does not carry criminal penalties and will be dealt with by a civil court so will not appear on an already existing criminal record or create a new criminal record.  If however, the terms are breached then that person will have committed a criminal offence.

Who can be given a drink banning order?

  •   Individuals over the age of 16
  •   Individuals who have taken part in criminal or disorderly conduct while under the influence of alcohol

Are they the same as Anti-Social Behaviour Orders?

The only really similarity between the two orders is that they are both obtained through a civil court upon application.   Currently a civil court is able to impose a drink banning order on an individual when it has been applied for but as yet criminal courts do not have the power to impose one on an individual when being convicted of a criminal offence.

ASBOs can be applied to individuals in many more instances than a drink banning order. A drink banning order can only be applied against an individual for either criminal or disorderly conduct while under the influence of alcohol.

However as is the case with ASBOs they are designed to protect certain victims, sometimes neighbours and often whole communities from behaviour going on around them which has frightened or intimidated them and in some cases damaged their quality of life. 

How long does a drink banning order last?

The orders may last between two months and two years.  In the case of two months they can be used as a short sharp tactic to discourage this kind of behaviour.

A drink banning order is a civil order meaning that it does not carry criminal penalties and will be dealt with by a civil court so will not appear on an already existing criminal record or create a new criminal record.  If however, the terms are breached then that person will have committed a criminal offence.

If I breach my drink banning order will I go to prison?

An individual who breaches a drink banning order will be liable to a fine which will not exceed £2,500.  Currently there is no custodial penalty for an individual who breaches a drink banning order however a breach of a subsequent sanction imposed by the court could lead to a custodial sentence.

Who can call for a drink banning order to be imposed?

In this case the agencies who can apply is more limited than that for an anti-social behaviour order with only the police and local authorities able to apply.

Government Approved Course

An individual who is in receipt of a drink banning order will be provided with the opportunity to attend a government approved course on a voluntary basis to address their alcohol related behaviour.  The courses will attempt to educate the individual concerning the serious social and health issues involved with the heavy intake of alcohol.   The length of the drink banning order can be reduced if an individual successfully completes the approved course.