Campaign targets underage drinking

Don't ask for it

Local retailers in North Lanarkshire are taking part in a new campaign to reduce the number of adults who buy alcohol for under 18s.

The Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership (SGAIP), the North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership and Police Scotland are launching the campaign to raise awareness of the fact that buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £5,000 or up to three months in prison, or both.

John Lee, Chair of the SGAIP Campaigns Group, said: “The success of initiatives such as Challenge 25 have helped reduce the number of direct sales of alcohol to under 18s, but young people are increasingly accessing alcohol by other means. Asking an adult to buy alcohol for them is one of the most common tactics used.”

Shirley Toner, Manager at Broomburn Wines in Motherwell, always refuses alcohol purchases she suspects are for under 18s, and logs details in a store refusals book. She advises retailers to be suspicious of regular customers attempting to buy totally different items from those they would normally purchase.

Shirley said: “From my knowledge the main motivation for people buying alcohol for teenagers is the chance to make money off the purchase. I find that summer holidays and weekends are definitely the times when people are most likely to do it.”

Councillor Jim McCabe, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council and Chair of the North Lanarkshire Partnership Board, concluded: “By tackling underage drinking, we’re also reducing antisocial behaviour and improving local communities for our residents.”

The campaign will run until the end of summer. For more information visit www.dontaskforit.com.

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