Legal Affairs: Family friendly pub obligations

The new legislation allows liquor primary establishments to apply to accommodate minors during certain hours.

With the rollout of B.C.’s new liquor laws, pubs and local legions will now be able to welcome the whole family for dinner.

The new legislation allows liquor primary establishments to apply to accommodate minors during certain hours.

The change is not automatic and it is up to each business and association to decide if they want to allow children on the premises.

Those wanting to allow minors must apply to the government for a “family foodservice” term to be added to their liquor licence. To qualify, the licensed establishment must offer a selection of appetizers and main courses prepared at an on-site kitchen.

The province introduced the change following its Liquor Policy Review in 2014, which sought input from the public and industry on how B.C.’s liquor laws could be improved and updated to reflect current attitudes.

By allowing minors into licensed establishments, the government hopes to enable pubs in offering an expanded range of dining options to their customers.

However, the government is also aware of the associated risks and has introduced the change with built-in safeguards intended to protect health and public safety, while still enhancing consumer convenience.

Although children will be allowed access to liquor-primary establishments, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and obviously cannot be served any alcohol.

In addition, minors can only be allowed until 10 p.m. and it will be up to each business or association to decide if they prefer to restrict these hours even more for their business.