United Kingdom

Wetherspoon pub limits parents with children to TWO alcoholic drinks each

A Wetherspoon pub has limited the number of drinks parents with children are allowed in a clampdown on 'unruly behaviour'.

The Robert Pocock pub in Gravesend, Kent, has warned parents they can only have two drinks if they bring their offspring.

A poster was put up at the establishment last Sunday but has since been taken down.

The nationwide policy, which can be enforced by individual managers, remains in place.

The Robert Pocock pub in Gravesend, Kent, has warned parents they can only have two drinks if they bring their children

The poster read: 'As part of our licensing it is our responsibility to ensure that we are protecting children from harm.

'Therefore adults in charge of children will be allowed to have one alcoholic drink and a further alcoholic drink with a sit down meal.'

It says once the limit has been reached, staff will have the 'legal right to refuse service of alcohol' to customers.

Pub bosses said the policy had not been 'followed rigorously' in the past but they would be taking the policy forward this year.

Being drunk in charge of a child under the age of seven in a public place is illegal according to the 1902 Licensing Act and people can face a fine or even a month in prison in more severe cases.

Drinking around children - what the law says

According to the Licensing Act 1902 it is illegal to be drunk while in charge of a child in a public place

The crime can be punished by a fine or up to a month in prison.

If you are a looking after a child under the age of seven and you are drunk in a licensed premises or on a highway then you could receive a penalty. 

There are no specific rules relating to how much a parent can drink while at home with their child.

But if a parent is so drunk they cannot take care of a child, then they could be charged with neglect.

The poster sparked debate on social media.

Customer Jonjo O'Connell said he agreed with the rule 'in principle' although felt enforced in isolation it might be open for abuse.

He said: 'Considering the type of parent it is aimed at, a pub is not a creche and I think some parents seem to forget that!

'Although I anticipate the rule will be circumvented by some just going around the corner to The Goose and staying there or returning later to the Pocock when a different shift arrives.'

A JD Wetherspoon spokesman said: 'The notice was briefly up in the pub, but this is no longer the case.

'The manager took the decision to put the poster in the pub to emphasise to customers that she would not allow parents to drink while their children were running round uncontrolled in the pub.

'The notice had a positive effect, with mostly good feedback.'