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back to article Council urges army drinkers to break the law

At least one northern council – and possibly others – is publicly advising the owners of licensed premises to break the law. Is this a cynical attempt to avoid bad publicity? Or, as council officials describe the advice, simple "pragmatism"? The issue arose last month, with reports in This is Cheshire that Corporal Jon Dykes of …

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Silver badge

Bloody silly

Not the council, the law.

Anyone know if it is possible to amend licenses if the government rules that Military ID should be valid under the same circumstances as a passport or driving license?

A side note: Why is hardly any shops give military discount these days? Students, are fine, but not military.

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above

Why a military discount, I want a working in IT discount.

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student discounts

It is silly that any official form of ID is not accepted and on quite a lot of licenses the type of ID is not specified so in many cases it is the specificity of the license which is silly, the law itself isn't silly as it simply requires the terms of the license as set by the licensing body to be adhered to.

IMHO a military discount is less common because the military is paid a wage for doing a job. Students are not paid as such, some are given some maintenance money to survive while studying, if you look at my stipend from one of the research councils when I was a post graduate student as pay then it worked out at less than £2 an hour. Establishments such as cinemas and restaurants often find it advantageous to make up numbers from the invariably large student population via discounts.

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Anonymous Coward

Sure, military should get a discount

And so should IT staff, just to keep it fair. I'd also like free accomodation for my family.

Working in the military is a job/career and should be treated as any other dangerous job. Perhaps deep sea divers should also get discounts as their job is dangerous?

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Anonymous Coward

Military discounts

Re. Military discounts - Why should everybody else pay more?

Part of our taxes goes towards paying military staff, which is fair enough. But why, having paid military wages from our wages, are meant to subsidise military staff further, i.e. paying more for our products/services so that they pay less. (And of course, if military are paying less, most companies aren't prepared to take a reduced profit...everybody else pays a bit more to pay for the discount our military friends are getting).

I spend a fair amount of time in the US where military discounts regularly apply. I often benefit from this as my brother in law is in the US army, but would resent it somewhat if I were a US consumer having to subsidise their products/services (and these are hardly essentials...skiing, movies, theme parks etc.) so their (in many, albeit no doubt not all) well-paid and very well pensioned military personnel pay less.

As a slight aside, there is the idea in this country too that only people who work in the military and public services "give something to society". It is mainly people who work in the private sector who generate to money that pays for all these public sector wages.

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too right!

Tax Payers Discount!

Oh and a "I have a job and its my lunch hour" fast track queue in shops.

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People in the military

would probably like free accommodation as well, but the only time they don't have to pay for some under-maintained hovel they can't decorate is when they're somewhere the locals are less friendly than the UK. Well apart from Andover obviously.

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Re: Sure, military should get a discount

However deep sea divers and other dangerous occupations generally pay at least ten times as much as an average military salary, since they're private sector. Grudging military personal a few perks like consumer discounts is rather churlish considering you'd be better off financially with a career at Tesco than in the armed forces, and significantly less likely to be killed or permanently maimed from an IED.

My only complaint is that our armed forces is being used to benefit supposed allies like the USA and Israel, or to serve corporate interests rather than for the defense of the UK.

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They earn more

Students don't have as much money as those serving? In fact all the blokes I know who are in the Army & Marines do ok for disposable income.

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I have a job and its my lunch hour

Are those the ones who are picking up sandwiches for the whole office and want to pay for each item with "different money", effectively being served six times without going back to the end of the queue, while I have a job and its my lunchtime too and I would have gone to a different till if there had been half a dozen aggling airheads there instead one one proxy gaggling airhead?

Are they the ones you mean?

I'm going for a lay down.

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They both should

Not as a matter of course, but simply because they are available to do things (shop/watch films etc.) when the rest of us are at work. This keeps demand (more) constant and should rightly receive a discount to keep them out when the 9-6 people go to the shops/cinemas/restaurants.

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Dangerous jobs

"Working in the military is a job/career and should be treated as any other dangerous job. Perhaps deep sea divers should also get discounts as their job is dangerous?"

Yeah, yeah, they knew the risks when they signed up. But I still think there is a qualitative difference between jobs where you might have a nasty accident and jobs where there is someone out there actively trying to cause that accident. (This isn't unique to the army -- the police work under similar circumstances from time to time -- but the army get it a lot more than most.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Military discounts.

Why give the military a discount? Some of us like to support our troops. You know, the blokes that have friends maimed, crippled and killed with some regularity. They probably don't offer discounts for IT staff because comparatively all we get asked to do is work the odd Friday evening.

Also, some people appear to have a rather loose understanding of retail. Selling things below the shelf price does not mean they are making a loss on the sale. Dealing with stationary etc. I have negotiated discounts of over 50% without the retailer looking that hard done by from the deal. That gives you some idea of how much retail prices are inflated over the trade prices!

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Unhappy

Why free accomodation?

You know that single soldiers in barracks and married soldiers with families still pay rent, council tax etc right?

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Happy

paid less than tesco

but tesco staff have less opportunity to shoot back

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PDC

1250

My F1250 gets me discounts at Burger King (only at Moto service stations though), and Dominos.

Do you actually bother asking about a military discount, or do you assume there isn't one because there is no sign?

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Anonymous Coward

Obvious question

Why does one have to "show ID" to go out drinking anyway?

Yet another law to repeal then.

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Anonymous Coward

Obvious Answer.

As proof of age.

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Missing the point

I believe the point was we should not have a minimum age for drinking, it should be up to the parents and the landlord to set age limits. Probably.

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Against the law?

It's surely only breaking the law if the licensee allows an underage individual to buy drink, not whether they checked ID or not. There is no requirement to check against approved ID as such. However, if the licensee does not then and does sell alcohol to a person under the age limit then he/she is breaking the law.

After all, it is only those who appear as if they might be underage that are asked for ID - not everybody and an appearance of, possibly, being underage is hardly an objective criterion. Maybe there is a specific bylaw that pertains to this in the area, but it is surely not UK law.

nb. the laws about who can actually drink alcohol in licensed premises are not the same who can buy them. Under certain cricumstances it is possible for a 16 year old to drink beer and wine (with a meal and the presence of an adult).

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Not against the law - against the licence

This probably isn't about it being against the law but about it being against the specific terms under which the licence was issued.

If there has been trouble with either an individual licensee/establishment, generally in an area or sometimes randomly the council can impose restrictions or conditions on the licence at renewal.

At a guess there has been trouble with under age drinking in the area so a mandatory age check with one of a list of approved forms of ID has been added to the licence conditions. As a result failure to comply can result in having the licence revoked and the landlord black-listed from ever holding a liquor licence again - which is a bit of a bugger if your profession is publican...

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Anonymous Coward

There is breaking the law

and then there is breaking the terms of your license.

If his license states that he has to ask for proof of ID then him not asking is enough for an investigation/buttfucking. It's not enough for a guy from the council to say "oh it's ok, they wont do that" if, say, this landlord had a punter who started smoking on the premisis, and he didn't throw them out, and a complaint was made I'm willing to bet 10 whole english pounds that the "not checking id" will be thrown in as a 2 for 1 special and the guy, rather than getting a fine for a single mistake, would have the book thrown at him.

The government will always be willing to sell you old rope...Not enough to make you feel good about having it, but enough to hang yourself with when you accidentaly trip.

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License conditions

Clearly the requirement isn't to check everybody's ID (or at least I've never heard of anywhere in the UK where that has to be done). It's conditional - checking IDs only on those who might be underage. Hardly an objective criterion. I'm sure if an establishment got a reputation for serving lots of individuals who appear to be underage without any form of checks they might lose their license. However, that's a wholly different thing to breaking the law or acting illegally as the article stated.

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Flame

Personally ..

... I'd tell the council to shove it. I feel desperately sorry for the soldiers, but it's high time authorities were made to face up to the sh*t they dish out.

Remember the policewoman who was subject to an ISA check because she swapped babysitting duties with a colleague ?

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WTF?

"and many older sets of conditions do not list military ID."

Then update the list for crying out loud.

"On the one hand, this does appear to be a sensible and, as the Council says, "pragmatic" solution to a real problem. "

No it isn't. Update the list of acceptable IDs. That's the solution. That's all they have to do. Why don't they just do it instead of arsing around. Why can't those in government use their brains JUST ONCE.

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No-brain government

"Why can't those in government use their brains JUST ONCE"

Because you do not need brains to get into politics. You just need the gift of the gab and the ability to convince an unsuspecting proportion of the population that you indeed know what you are doing.

The "brains" (and I use the word very losely) behind any government are the same teams of civil servants and "mandarins" that remain in office behind whichever mouth that fronts the administration. "Promotion beyond one's abilities" springs to mind and this is the civil service after all. We can only hope that the job cuts about to be imposed by this government will address the problem however unlikely.

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It is not difficult

Why would anything else be needed other than a letter being sent to each Licenced establishment informing them that they are updating the Acceptable Forms of ID list to include Military ID. You might even think they could even send a specimen picture so each Publican knows what one looks like. Tie that up with your database of Licencees with a mail merge aaaaaaand Print. Your job is done

How is that not sensible, easy, pragmatic and totally foolproof? Oh wait. Council workers spending your money efficiently. Never mind.

<icon of your cash going up in smoke>

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We should give the police credit...

The police in this country are more intelligent and pragmatic than many give them credit for.

Cannabis has effectively been de-criminalised by the police off their own backs.

And in good conditions without too much traffic most of the cars on the M4/M5 last Sunday were doing 85mph - and I've heard from a traffic cop who's said that it's only above 85 or stupid driving means that they take an interest.

There has to be an element of pragmatism and intelligence in applying laws.

I really can't see a council taking a publican to court for allowing one of our brave boys to use a military ID (probably better than most ID's) as proof of age.

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Black Helicopters

Great but...

But then they will throw all the books they can at you if they want.

It's fine to say that the police will turn a blind eye to one thing or another, but the fact that they are still illegal, means that they can go to town on you.

In a way it's the best way to a police state; You have loads of laws that are routinely ignored, people get used to ignoring them, and everyone becomes a law-breaker. Then when you want to punish someone for nothing (they dated your daughter, or voted the 'wrong way' at an election) BAM several laws that they were breaking without fear put them away for life...

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Driving Offences

I have heard lots of people claim that a friendly traffic cop has said they wont take action until it hits a certain amount over the speed limit.

However, I have been stopped speeding on a deserted stretch of motoroway for travelling at 71MPH.

Seriously.

I nearly laughed at the copper until he took me back into his car, breathalysed me and gave me notice of a fixed penalty fine.

71 on an empty motorway.

There should be NO pragmatism in laws, because that allows jobsworths and self important idiots to get lord over others.

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Really?

71mph on a motorway? In a 70mph limit?

I call bullshit, until I see the actual ticket involved. I have heard this claim many times, and every time I've asked for proof, much dissembling has ensued. So, what'll it be this time? Put up, or shut up?

GJC

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Stop

Don't believe the traffic cop

I was pulled on the M602 last year, but a lone copper, in a car without VASCAR or any other recording equipment. I knew full well that I wasn't speeding, as I'd clocked him as I joined the motorway infront of him. I was sitting at 70 on cruise control.

He refused to tell me what speed he was booking me for, saying I'd find out in court, so I refused to sign his form. He threatened to arrest me if I didn't, so I told him to arrest me. He didn't. Instead he kicked me out of his car, and let me go. I drove to the local nick straight away to make a complaint.

His Sgt later told me that it's a matter of policy for GMP traffic police to not stop anyone unless doing over 80. Turned out that a colleague of mine in the RAF Reserves worked with him, and he was known to be a bit of a knob. He ended up being suspended after admitting that he hadn't a clue whether I was speeding or not.

So always challenge. Often they are trying it on. I'm sure that had it been my mum he had pulled, that she would have signed anything, as would the vast majority of the public.

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Law Backwards

We should want to ensure that no person who is legally entitled to drink is turned away. And, also, that no one not legally entitled to drink can do so.

Clearly, what is needed is for someone coming into a pub to simply state his name and other information to uniquely identify himself... and, instead of carrying ID of any sort, the pub uses a computer terminal to pull up his photograph on a government database.

This way, people convicted of alcohol-related offences can also be prevented from drinking.

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Re: Law Backwards

You mean like a national registry of identities? A national identity register perhaps?

Yeah, that didn't work out too well for the last government. Issues of trust and function-creep, and all. Plus the expense, plus forcing people onto it.

Personally if someone asks me for ID, I show them the bare skin atop my scalp and declare that as my proof of age. You can use whatever bit of plastic will be accepted.

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Anonymous Coward

Dumb but....

....wtf is this nonsense about driving licenses being retained at barracks? That's just the forces thinking the law doesn't apply to them and they are WRONG. If they are driving forces vehicles on a public road then they need a license and just like the rest of us they are obliged by law to carry it. The only time they do not need to have a current UK driving license is when they are on govt (forces) property.

The thing is - if you all take a step back and think - hands up who knows what the current military ID card looks like. I bet no more than 1% of the population have ever seen the current version.

Also get a grip people? It is a CONDITION of the license of many pubs that they have to age-check a certain number of people each month and. Every month. Documented so it can be inspected by Plod/local licensing authority. So we have young Tommy back from slaying the country's "foes" and he's 18. Now who do you think is going to get asked for ID - young Tommy or his Sgt mate who is in his 30s?

Whats the problem with him just carrying one of the age ID cards which are fairly prevalent - just like ANYONE ELSE HIS AGE. Why should everyone in pubs be expected to recognise and accept forces ID when for a few quid he can do what the rest of the population is expected to do?

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"They need a license and just like the rest of us they are obliged by law to carry it. "

I don't think carrying your licence with you is a requirement by law. IIRC the law states that if you get pulled over and you don't have your licence you are given a "producer", also known as the "seven day wonder" which gives you a week to produce your licence, MOT and insurance docs at your local cop shop. Your photocard driving licence isn't valid without the paper countapart anyways.I do carry my licence around with me usually, but that is out of habit/needing ID.

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FAIL

Wrong

You are NOT obliged to carry your driving licence with you when driving a 'vee-hic-le' in the UK. That is a complete load.

And ditto your insurance certifcate.

Yes your obliged to HAVE one but in the event you are stopped. Then the Plod can tell if you have one and if there's any doubt you get a 'Producer' Similarly the Plod can tell from the MID (www.askmid.com) if you are insured.

Except where your stupid insurance company mistakenly take you off the MID then Essex Police stop you ad nauseum (OK once a day -I exaggerated for effect) until the Aviva idiots pull their fingers out of their orifices and put you back onto the MID - several days in fact. I can also tell you that after the first time if you sensibly DO decide to carry a copy of the cert then they 1/ salivate at the prospect of doing you for presenting a false instrument (summat like that) and 2/ Still check the MID before 3/ ringing your company. I can further state that dealing with Aviva under these circumstances is like wading through treacle. That is all.

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Obliged to carry it?

I hope no-one's obliged by law to carry a driving license when going to a pub for a drink or few...

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Re Dumb but....

"and just like the rest of us they are obliged by law to carry it."

Not in the UK. At one time, if you didn't have it to hand, you had to produce it at a police station within a few days.

Now the police can check online at the scene.

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IANAL...

...but my understanding is that you do not need to carry your driving licence when driving; but if stopped then the police can demand that you present it at a police station within 14 days (I think).

I certainly don't carry it. If my wallet got nicked they'd have my credit cards, DOB and address; which is basically all you need for an online spending spree. And if they had my house keys too, then bye-bye stuff...

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Re: Dumb but...

Actually you are not obliged by law to carry your driving licence with you at all times when driving. The Police are entitled to ask to see your licence at any time and if you do not have it immediately, you will be ordered to produce it to a Police Station within 7 days. Failing to produce within that period of time is an offence.

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FAIL

FAIL

Errr, when was anyone in this country "obliged by law to carry" their driving license, or any form of ID for that matter.

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Anonymous Coward

Nor do I

However AIUI you do have to carry it these days. I'm fairly certain New Labour shunted some crap about license/insurance into one of their many laws, if not then apologies on that.

However - and I worked with the forces for years (radar design) there is an attitude amongst the army anyway that the law is optional for a lot of stuff. I watched a young lad take some rather heavy stuff out from Old Dalby (if anyone remembers that). No license. His Sgt said no problems you've passed your "test" but the basic issue was he didn't have ANY basic license. He got done. He may well have been qualified in army terms to drive what he was, but he didn't have a basic civvie license.

Anyway the point about age ID stands. Not expensive. Not hard to obtain. Do it.

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PARTIAL CREDIT

"You are NOT obliged to carry your driving licence with you when driving a 'vee-hic-le' in the UK. That is a complete load."

Actually, you are. Producing it later is merely a defence that you can offer against the offence of not producing it at the time. Don't take my word for it: read the legislation.

Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 164

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880052_en_13

"a person driving a motor vehicle on a road [...] must, on being so required by a constable, produce his licence for examination

[...]

In proceedings against any person for the offence of failing to produce a licence it shall be a defence for him to show that [...] within seven days after the production of his licence was required he produced it in person at a police station that was specified by him at the time its production was required"

The HO/RT 1 'producer' is a courtesy, not a right. There's nothing to stop a copper arresting you on the spot, or the CPS beginning proceedings against you immediately, if they don't much like the cut of your jib.

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Headmaster

Taking a further step back

"hands up who knows what the current military ID card looks like. I bet no more than 1% of the population" Well me for a start and certainly each one of the approx 450,000 members of the armed services (not including all those ex forces, family members etc). Not exactly known for its rarity value then?

Hands up all those who know what a CitizenCard ("The UK's Leading Proof-of-Age Scheme") looks like.

Hands up all those who knows what a 'Validate UK" National ID card looks like

Hands up all those who knows what a 'ProofGB" National ID card looks like

Hands up all those who knows what a 'Young Scot" National ID card looks like

Hands up all those who know what each one of the 15 regional ID cards looks like

How to publicans and shop owners know about all these different forms of ID? Simple really, they have sample copies sent to them by the licencing department for comparison reference. Just how difficult would it be for the numtys in the Licencing departments to suddeny realise that there is such a thing as the Military in this country and add a Military ID to that sample poster?

"Why should everyone in pubs be expected to recognise and accept forces ID when for a few quid he can do what the rest of the population is expected to do?" Well simple really. Why should he, he ALREADY HAS a perfectly valid ID issued by the Government, with his date of birth, already in his in his pocket.

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Grounds for defence not courtesy

It's not a courtesy; it's legal grounds for defence. That's a completely different thing (giving a few days' grace for getting a tax disc is a courtesy, not an official ground for defence).

In the case of the CPS there is plenty to stop them starting proceedings as it has to meet two criteria. Firstly there must be a reasonable possibility of a conviction, and there isn't as the production of a licence is officially grounds for defence. Secondly, it has to pass a public interest test. It's pretty difficult to see how it is in the public interest to prosecute somebody in these sort of circumstances, especially when there is no chance of a conviction if you present your licence within 7 days.

Also worth adding, if you read the conditions then a constable can demand presentation of a licence not only if you are driving at the time, but also if there are reasonable grounds to believe you have been driving at the time an offence was committed. That would mean you'd have to carry it all times as there's always the possibility of having committed some offence of which you where unaware at the time.

Incidentally, not all offenses are arrestable ones. There would almost certainly have to be other grounds for arrest than you just didn't have your driving licence on your person (in any event, it's pretty irrelevant whether you present your licence or not as, with your name and address, they can check anyway, and if you are driving your own car then they have other information including insurance and registration to give the copper a fair chance of establishing your identity).

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PDC

What the current military ID card looks like

John, you imply that there is just one military id card. Which one would that be then?

I currently have the F1250 issued by the RAF, but when it expires it will be a MOD 90. There are different cards for contractors, family members, civvie workers, and even locally produced cards specific to individual stations.

Now why is it that if my age was questionable, I wouldn't be able to use an ID card that gets me access to some of the most secure premises in the country? It's ridiculous that a card that allows me to draw a bootfull of automatic weapons can't get me a pint in my local, but a card that's issued by the portland group, that doesn't require security vetting to issue, does.

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Gold badge

Photocard license

Yes, it's funny that. A UK photocard driving license is valid in every European country... except the UK!

In Spain it's the law when driving that you have to carry ID (for me UK passport and a certificate that I a am a foreigner in Spain), driving license, car documents, proof of insurance, proof that you have paid your car tax (bank receipt), proof that your car passed it's MOT (sticker on the window). If you don't have all the above, it's a fine, plus you have to go and show them.

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but...

if they arent allowed DOB on the ID (i guess since thats the reason they arent allowed to take passports), what happens to all the 16 year old squaddies? flash your military id and get served

and to be fair the military prove time and time again that they should be drinking anyway, as i live in a town surrounded by RAF and military bases you wouldnt believe the shit squaddies cause regularly

to the first poster - why the hell should military get discount? you sign up, you pay no tax etc etc. students are only students a short time and the idea of student discount is to help out poor students in the short term and make them into future shoppers. plenty of army guys earn decent wages, and those that dont get plenty of other advantages (pension, no tax, free home etc etc)

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IDIOT

Your Military ID Card does have your D.o.B. on it and what sort of a muppet are you,

'you pay no tax etc etc'

Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines all pay tax.

'free home'

All forces pay a portion of their wage as Accomodation charges (Granted not a lot but how much is a hole in the ground in the middle of Germany worth?)

Please for the sake of sanity try at least to look up a couple of things before posting the mindless rantings of 'Shocked from Milton Keynes'

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