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Fewer premises serving underage drinkers

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: Fewer pubs and off-licences have served alcohol to under-18s than in previous years, new Government figures show.

The figures show improvement in the test purchase failure rate since national enforcement campaigns began in 2004.

In 2004, the overall test purchase failure rate was 50%. In 2006, it had dropped to 20%. In the latest and more targeted campaign, it now stands below 15% overall.

Retail of Alcohol Standards Group chair Nick Grant said: "Retailers have worked closely together with police and trading standards to share best practice on how we can best reduce opportunities for young people to purchase alcohol.

"There is still more to do, and we will continue to work in partnership as part of our commitment to sell alcohol safely and responsibly."

Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief executive Jeremy Beadles added: "We hope that this clear demonstration of our commitment to reduce sales of alcohol to under-18s will encourage the Home Office and enforcement agencies to continue the increasing focus on partnership working with less emphasis on pure enforcement work.

"Government, the police and local authorities should engage with all interested stakeholders, including retailers; after all, sales staff are the first line of defence in challenging underage alcohol consumption."