Scots set to raise alcohol purchasing age

03 September, 2008

Trade leaders have urged the Scottish government to enforce existing legislation on alcohol abuse rather than introduce new laws such as raising the legal purchasing age to 21.

Today Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond set out proposals for reforms which also include minimum pricing legislation and alcohol-only checkouts.

In a document the government promised to “tackle the major issue of alcohol misuse in Scotland” and said that “the measures that we will put in place will depend on the outcome of our current consultation on alcohol misuse”.

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: “Today the Scottish Government demonstrated its refusal to listen to the Scottish people in pursuing its nonsensical policy of raising the purchasing age to 21.

“Instead of actually enforcing the laws available to tackle problems associated with alcohol misuse, the SNP has decided that headlines are more important than progress. It is by getting police out on the streets enforcing the law that we will make our communities safer.”

According to the WSTA, there were only 131 recorded offences for buying under-age in Scotland in 2006-07 and action was taken in just seven cases, with five receiving fines.

In the same year there were only 13 recorded offences where the police confiscated alcohol from a person under the age of 18.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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