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Sale of alcohol - retailer guidance

If you sell alcohol, you must make sure that you and your staff take all necessary steps to prevent its sale to under 18s. Find information on the best ways to avoid committing an offence.

How to keep within the law 

The best way to prevent the sale of alcohol to under 18s is to have appropriate systems in place.
Download our Icon for pdf Alcohol sale guidelines (PDF, 319.3kb)  to make sure you, or your staff, don't commit an offence.

Checking your customer's age

The best way to check a customer's age is to adopt the Challenge 25 age verification. This encourages staff to challenge anyone, who looks under the age of 25, to provide ID that confirms they are over 18 if they are buying alcohol.

The Challenge 25 website has more information and you can also download posters to display on your premises. 

Photographic ID such as:

Find out more about how to spot a false ID and what action you should take on's false ID guidance web page.

Other support and training

'Do You Pass' retailer training

A free course for local businesses, 'Do you Pass' retailer training covers all aspects of age-related product sales and training for staff on how to handle refusals. It also includes input from you and is an opportunity for businesses to share their experiences and concerns.

Contact us for more information and training dates. 

Retailer mentor scheme

Designed to help smaller independent retailers - one of our retailer partners will provide advice and information to help you set up your underage sale systems. Contact us for more information.

Tackling underage sales of alcohol

We're working with Durham Police, as part of Operation ARIES, to tackle underage sales. This retailer guidance and support forms part of this work. 

Follow the Operation ARIES on Twitter feed for regular updates.

Contact us
Trading Standards
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Community Protection
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ