UKs weirdest pub rules – from no getting drunk at the bar to phone ban

UK pub-goers have been breaking the rules without even knowing it, as one dates back hundreds of years ago and others just hate technology.

It is no secret that Brits love a tipple, but what might not be as well known is that we are legally not allowed to be drunk in a pub of all places. Solicitors Britton and Time state that there is a 'weird' law in the UK that many punters do not know about and it stems from the antiquated 1839 Metropolitan Act, brought in early into Queen Victoria's time on the British throne.

The all-encompassing act outlawed "furious driving", driving carts on the footway, selling or distributing "profane, indecent or obscene books and drawings," or singing any songs or ballads with similar content or using language "to the annoyance of pedestrians or passengers".

READ MORE: Bar staff 'banned' from saying well known phrase to drinkers in case they get too drunk

For more stories about pubs, including one about the city with grimiest pubs in the UK, click here

It also allowed the imprisonment of "drunkards guilty of riotous or indecent behaviour" and even barred people from being drunk in the very places they acquired their hooch.

Britton and Time state on their website: “One weird UK law which may come as a big shock to many is the fact you’re not actually allowed to be drunk in a pub.

"According to the Metropolitan Act of 1839, it’s against the law for the 'keeper of a public house to permit drunkenness on-premises'.

"Under the Licensing Act 2003, it’s also illegal to serve alcoholic beverages to patrons who are already intoxicated or purchase alcohol on behalf of someone who is already drunk.

“So, if you leave the house and drink over three to four pints, you might be facing a £200 fine.”

While this law has its roots in Victorian times, one rule that we often see in our pubs and bars has is much more modern.

Some premises ban customers from using their mobile phones as a way of inspiring conversation or rejecting modernity.

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In August 2019, one of the oldest pubs in Beverley, Hull announced a radical new policy to ban customers from using theirs.

The White Horse Inn, known to many as Nellies, is famous for its historic features and pungent gas lamps.

And their laws around modern technology are equally as ancient. A poster has been stuck to the wall in the Hengate venue banning anyone from using electronic devices while enjoying a bite to eat or a pint.

The decision by the pub came as part of a national ban enforced by brewery chain Samuel Smith's across 200 of its pubs.

Samuel Smith's also famously blocks music from being played, as well as banning TVs. It also has a zero-tolerance policy on swearing.

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The full poster reads: "Mobile phones, iPads, laptops, tablets and other transmission/reception devices are not allowed to be used inside this pub.

"The ban includes receiving or sending texts, taking or viewing photographs, emailing, using games, apps, Google, Facebook, Messenger, etc, etc.

"We want our pub to be a haven for social conversation."

And a new ruling from the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking says bartenders should not ask certain questions to those who may be after another tipple. Asking "same again?" or "is that a double?" could be ruled out entirely.

Online courses are set to be offered to those who cannot stop themselves from using the presumptive language, which may be doing more harm than good.

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