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Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action

The Scottish Government today published its framework for tackling Scotland's £2.25 billion alcohol misuse problem.

The strategy was launched by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, with minimum pricing and local flexibility to ban off-sales to under-21s among its key elements in tackling what health experts regard as Scotland's most pressing public health concern.

The proposals.

  • Regulations should be made under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 to:
    • Prevent the sale of alcohol as a loss leader
    • Put an end to off-sales premises supplying alcohol at a reduced price on the purchase of one or more of the product, or of any other product, whether alcohol or not
    • Put an end to off-sales premises supplying alcohol free of charge on the purchase of one or more of the product, or of any other product, whether alcohol or not
  • Introduce minimum retail pricing.
  • Support the introduction of legislation to require licensed premises to offer measures of 125ml of wine and 25ml measures of spirits.
  • Review current advice for parents and carers.
  • Empower licensing authorities to raise the minimum legal purchase age for off-sales purchases.
  • Apply a fee to some alcohol retailers to help offset the costs of dealing with the adverse consequences of alcohol.
  • Arrange a Scottish survey of the incidence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
  • Work with partners at national and local level to improve substance misuse education in schools.
  • Continue to support a number of third sector organisations to provide youth work and/or diversionary opportunities.
  • Improve identification and assessment of those affected by parental substance misuse and sharing of appropriate information amongst agencies; and building capacity, availability and quality of support services.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of measures within the new Licensing (Scotland) Act to control the availability of alcohol.
  • Consider the role of local authority trading standards officers in relation to enforcement in off-sales.
  • Continue to work the national Violence Reduction Unit and local Community Safety Partnerships to ensure the effective and innovative use of prevention and enforcement measures.
  • Commission research to identify and evaluate models for services for drunk and incapable people.
  • Following the debate on 18 December 2008, the Scottish Parliament agreed a motion calling on the UK Government to reduce the drink drive limit from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg.
  • Action to further restrict the use of marketing materials within licensed premises.
  • Introduce alcohol only checkouts in off-sales premises.
  • Require that alcohol checkout staff should be at least 18 years old.
  • Continue to work with health and industry partners to promote awareness and understanding of alcohol misuse and responsible drinking.

Download the full report here. (pdf 438kb)

The Scottish Government news release available here.