Alcohol pricing contributes to 'apocalypse'

24 March, 2011

Scotland could be heading for an “apocalypse” if it does not tackle its issues with alcohol consumption, according to one of the country’s leading legal figures.

Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini said the price of alcohol was “undoubtedly a factor” in Scotland’s problematic relationship with drink.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, she said: "What I see now in many of the cases are both the accused and indeed victims purchasing very substantial quantities of very cheap alcohol.

“It could be a variety of the fruit-flavoured ones as well as strong vodka which is consumed in quantities which quite frankly are fatal, and it is a matter of surprise that the individuals are not just witnesses in a case but that they are actually living to tell the tale.

"That is something which is seen throughout the country. It is a real issue and I think it is a major health issue for young people, but from my own very narrow perspective I think that there is a real apocalypse if we don't actually get to grips with the acceleration of the consumption of alcohol."

Angiolini said that in the 1970s, a litre of vodka was priced at the equivalent of about £45 today.

The Scottish National Party has pledged to make another attempt to introduce minimum pricing if it secures a majority in the May elections. The party currently relies on the support of opposition groups to achieve its legislative programme, and trails Labour in the opinion polls.

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