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Scotland calls for rise in legal drinking age

Published:  23 July, 2008

18 years is too young for people to drink alcohol unsupervised.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is looking into raising the age limit of off-license sales of alcohol.

During a debate in the Scottish Parliament, Michael Matheson Falkirk West (SNP) urged cabinet secretary for Justice minister, Kenny MacAskill to consider the "possibility of raising the age limit for those who may purchase alcohol from an off-license."

He said current legislation that allows 18 year-olds to purchase alcohol is too low.

"If someone drinks alcohol in a pub, technically they are under the supervision of the bar staff and the licence holder for those premises, but when they purchase alcohol from an off-sales, their drinking is unsupervised."

MacAskill, considering the issue, said: "I also want to crack-down on irresponsible promotions and discounts on alcohol.

"If the buy-one-get-one free approach is unacceptable in our pubs, why should it be acceptable anywhere else?"

The minister is due to meet with police and licensing boards to discuss tackling underage sales as part of the new licensing laws.