Changes to licensing laws

FROM tomorrow (Saturday) all premises selling alcohol will be required by law to have a ‘Challenge 25’ age verification scheme in place.

This means that anyone purchasing alcohol who looks to be under 25 years of age must be asked for photographic proof of age before being sold or served alcohol in licensed premises. The legal age for the consumption of alcohol remains 18 years.

The scheme is part of the new Alcohol etc (Scotland) Act 2010 which comes into force in Scotland on October 1. The new legislation contains a number of provisions aimed at reducing alcohol consumption and the availability of alcohol, including that sold under the provision of an occasional licence.

The Act also extends the legislation covering drinks promotions to all shops, supermarkets and dedicated off-sales premises and will restrict how promotions are advertised and where they take place. As of October 1, discount pricing will come under closer scrutiny and there will be an outright ban on quantity discounts such as ‘buy one get one free’ offers.

The convener of Angus Licensing Board, Councillor John Whyte, said: “Angus Licensing Board fully supports these new measures and we will be taking all steps to ensure they are implemented in full in Angus.

“The Act also paves the way for the introduction of a social responsibility levy which would allow councils to raise local fees and charges to contribute towards the cost of dealing with the adverse effects of alcohol. However the Scottish government has made it clear this levy will not be imposed until the economic circumstances are right.”

Any operators of licensed premises who would like further advice or guidance on the new legislation can contact Angus Council’s licensing standards officer on 01307 476253.