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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Under-strength booze found in York

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8:10am 10th August 2012

A company that owns a bar in York have pleaded guilty to having under-strength spirits.

Inventive Leisure Services Ltd own Revolution bar off Coney Street.

A whiskey found in the routine inspection last year was just 16% proof, the minimum level is meant to be 40%.

The company put it down to the use of open top pourers and storing the bottles under lights, claiming water may have dripped back in.

The company have been handed a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay over £4000

City of York Council Statement:

Today (Thursday 9 August), York Magistrates Court heard Inventive Leisure Services Ltd plead guilty to being in possession for sale of under-strength spirits at Revolution Bar off Coney Street.

The company was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £4,035 in prosecution costs.

City of York Council officers uncovered the offences during a routine inspection in June 2011.

They found vodka and whisky with lower than required alcohol content.

The company said this was most probably caused by using open-top pourers and by storing the bottles on under-lit shelving which can heat the bottle and lead to evaporation.

In some cases water may have dripped back into the liquid after the pourers had been cleaned.

The court heard how one of the spirits, a whisky, was more than half the strength it should have been. It had an alcoholic volume of just 16.1% when the minimum level for whisky is 40%.

Councillor Dafydd Williams, the council’s cabinet member for Crime and Stronger Communities said:

“Businesses are reminded to manage their stock appropriately. Whilst serving under-strength spirits – caused by evaporation rather than watering down – doesn’t increase a business’s profits, it does mean that customers aren’t getting what they paid for and are expecting. We’re committed to upholding high trading standards in the city and won’t tolerate residents and visitors being short-changed.”

In addition to its routine and unannounced inspection of licensed premises, the council’s wrote to all licensed premises in February 2011 to advise that ‘the use of pourers which open directly into the bottle is not recommended in place of the lid on spirit bottles. These provide no closure to the bottle and may allow alcohol to evaporate, resulting in loss of alcoholic strength and a product that does not meet its legal description as stated on the bottle’.

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