Has The 10pm Alcohol Cut-Off Been Effective?

8th October 2009

Jamie Mann

Scottish retailers have have been unable to distibute alcohol to the public after 10pm since The Licencing (Scotland) Act 2005 took effect on September 1st this year.

The act has been enforced by the government in order to eradicate problems associated with alcohol-abuse.  The acts objectives include: “protecting and improving public health” and “preventing crime and disorder”.

An off-licence  employee, who asked not to be named observed no alterations in the anti-social behaviour in the Newington area of Edinburgh. They attributed the new law to the decline in sales after 10pm with many customers unsuccessfully attempting to purchase alcohol after the cut-off; this would suggest drinkers have not been made aware of the law change over a month after it was made official.  Peckams have  experienced “no loss in revenue” during the day but have expressed an absence in regular customers in the evening.

Dr Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute has critised the regulation of drinking in Scotland, mentioning that alcohol is both cheaper and available 24 hours in France but “they don’t have anything like our problem”.  Scotlands binge-drinking culture is unlikely to change as a result of the cut-off.

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