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Further alcohol control provisions in force today

15 May 2017

Further alcohol licensing and control provisions of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 come into force today (15 May). 

It is now an offence to give or make alcohol available to a child or young person for consumption in a public place. The aim is to help Police Scotland better tackle outdoor drinking dens. It is already against the law to buy alcohol for a child, but the new offence closes a loophole to ensure that supplying alcohol to a child in public is also covered.

Further, from today, a "fit and proper person" test again forms part of the alcohol licensing regime. It becomes a ground for refusing an application for a premises licence, and for refusing a transfer application. The test has to be applied having regard to the licensing objectives.

Licensing boards will also be required to produce an annual income and expenditure report on their alcohol licensing activities to increase their accountability and transparency.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson commented: “We know that groups of young people drinking outside can be an intimidating sight to members of the public and are often linked with a number of public order offences.

“Furthermore, underage drinking can cause short and long term harm to health, as well as put young people in dangerous situations when drunk. So it is entirely correct that Police Scotland are able to deal effectively with those who supply alcohol to children and young people." 

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