However a lack of information for affected publicans from the Scottish Government meant that the Scottish Beer & Pubs Association had to introduce the Challenge 25 campaign to disseminate the way the legislation will operate for members of the licensed trade there.
The new law makes it mandatory for all operators and staff at every one of Scotland’s 15,000 licensed premises to seek out information dispelling any doubts that the consumer is 18 or above before being allowed to purchase alcohol.
The strapline used in the SBPA’s Challenge 25 campaign is “If you are lucky enough to look under 25 you will be asked to prove that you are aged 18 or over when you buy alcohol. If you are under 18 you are committing an offence if you attempt to buy alcohol”.
Speaking at the launch of Challenge 25, SBPA Chief Executive Patrick Browne said, “The SBPA and it’s members have fully embraced this and have rebranded the existing voluntary Challenge 25 schemes for use in Scotland with a new logo and a range of materials for use in pubs”.
“The SBPA has also launched the Challenge 25 website, www.challenge25.org, which both licensees and young people can access to seek advice about what Challenge 25 will mean for them. It also provides links to the range of providers of proof-of-age cards so that customers can consider whether they need to obtain a new form of proof-of-age if they don’t already have one.
Scottish licensing law solicitors John Gaunt & Partners highlighted some other changes to licensing laws in Scotland as a result of the Alcohol Etc (Scotland) Act such as the provision to Scottish Ministers of a power to impose a charge on certain holders of licences under the 2005 Act and the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 – an echo of the prospect of the late-night levy south of the border.
Money raised by the charge will be for local authorities to use in contributing towards the costs of dealing with the adverse effects of the operation of these businesses on the licensing objectives, for example extra policing or street-cleaning.
Scottish Licensing Boards also have the power to vary the conditions of premises licences in respect of all the premises in its area or vary a category or group of licences in respect of matters prescribed by the Scottish Ministers. For example a requirement for shatter-proof glasses in all premises of a particular description or a requirement for a specific number of door staff in city centre establishments can now be drawn up.