Police issue Christmas licensing hours

The PSNI has issued Christmas licensing hours for 2016.

The PSNI has issued Christmas licensing hours for 2016.

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If you are intending to go out socialising over the Christmas and New Year period, please remember there will be changes to licensing hours.

If you are intending to go out socialising over the Christmas and New Year period, please remember there will be changes to licensing hours.

On Christmas Eve, the permitted hours are 11.30am to 11pm, or midnight if a late extension is in place. Thirty minutes drinking-up time is allowed. Off-licences in pubs can open from 11.30am to 11pm, and off licences in shops from 8am to 11pm.

On Christmas Day the hours are 12.30pm to 10pm. Thirty minutes drinking-up time is allowed, but there will be no late licences and no off-sales.

On Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve the hours are 11.30am to 11pm, or 1am if a late extension is in place. Thirty minutes drinking-up time is allowed. Off-licences in pubs can open from 11.30am to 11pm, and off licences in shops from 8am to 11pm.

New Year’s Day hours are from midday to 10pm, or to midnight with a late extension. Off-licences in pubs and shops can open from 10am to 10pm.

Constable Paul Larkin, the licensing officer for the area, said: “We have been in touch with local licensees and we have told them we will be mounting extra licensing inspections over the festive period. These will aim to give reassurance to staff and customers and to help prevent disorder. I would remind young people to take legitimate identification with them on a night out – you do not want to be refused alcohol because you forget! If you are under 18 do not attempt to buy alcohol in a licensed premises.

“I hope that everyone will enjoy themselves over the Christmas period but please drink responsibly. Know your limit, do not drink excessively and avoid binge drinking. There can be a lot of drink promotions available to you but don’t ruin your occasion by drinking too much.

“Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to One Punch attacks. One Punch attacks can and do happen and can have a devastating impact on the victim and their family. In such cases the offender will likely face a murder or manslaughter charge and have a criminal record for the rest of their life. My message is simple – enjoy your night out but please remember that One Punch can kill.”