Call for views on the Alcohol (Licensing, Public health and Criminal Justice) (Scotland) Bill

Call for views on the Alcohol (Licensing, Public health and Criminal Justice) (Scotland) Bill

Stage 1 consideration by the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee


On 14 May 2015, the Health and Sport Committee launched a call for written views to inform its consideration of the Alcohol (Licensing, Public health and Criminal Justice) (Scotland) Bill.

This Member’s Bill was introduced by Richard Simpson on 1 April 2015 and the Health and Sport Committee has been designated as lead committee for consideration of it at Stage 1.

As stated in the accompanying policy memorandum, the Bill aims to promote public health and reduce alcohol-related offending. It contains measures that:

  • place restrictions on the retailing and advertising of alcoholic drinks;
  • make changes to licensing laws;
  • place obligations on the Scottish Ministers to publish, review and report on its alcohol education policy; and
  • direct certain people whose offending or antisocial behaviour is attributable to alcohol consumption towards treatment or restrictions on that consumption.

The Bill covers ten areas of activity:

  • Minimum price for packages containing more than one alcoholic product (section 1) – this would close a perceived loophole in the existing law which prevents retailers selling multiple units of alcohol at a discount in comparison to the price of a single unit.
  • Alcoholic drinks containing caffeine (section 2) – this would place a restriction on the caffeine content of alcoholic drinks.
  • Age discrimination in off-sales (section 3) – this would prevent licensing boards banning sales to under-21s as a condition of a premises licence.
  • Container marking in off-sales (section 4) – this is better known as “bottle-tagging”. It would allow licensing boards to require that bottles are marked with a code so that drink from underage drinkers can be traced back to specific licensed premises.
  • Applications for, or to vary, premises licence (section 5) – this would change the requirements to notify and publicise such applications with the intention of increasing community involvement.
  • Restrictions on advertising (sections 6 – 13) – these sections would limit alcohol advertising near places (such as schools) used by children and at events targeted at children. It would also limit alcohol advertising on retail premises.
  • Alcohol education policy statements (section 14) – this would require the Scottish Government to publish, and review, an alcohol education policy every five years.
  • Drinking banning orders (sections 15 – 29) – these sections would enable a court to impose a ban on drinking in specified places where a person is convicted of an alcohol-related offence.
  • Alcohol awareness training as alternative to fixed penalty notices (section 30) – this would allow police constables to offer training as an alternative to a fine when an offence is committed under the influence of alcohol.
  • Notification of offender’s GP (section 31) – this would require that an offender’s GP is notified by the courts where the consumption of alcohol has been a contributory factor in their offending behaviour.

The Bill and accompanying documents can be viewed on the Parliament’s website at:

What information is the Committee looking for?

Please address the following questions in your submission:

  • Do you support the Bill as a whole?
  • Do you support particular provisions in the Bill?
  • Do you have concerns about particular provisions in the Bill?
  • How will the particular provisions in the Bill fit with your work, or the work of your organisation?
  • Will the Bill have financial or resource implications for you or your organisation?
  • Do you have any other comments or suggestions relevant to the Bill?

How to submit your evidence

Before responding to the questions above, please read our Policy on Treatment of Written Evidence by Subject and Mandatory Committees.

Although any length of response will be gratefully received by the Committee, submissions should not normally exceed around 2,000 words in total.

Please send your views on the Bill to the Committee by Wednesday 24 June 2015.

Responses should be sent, wherever possible, electronically and in MS Word format to:

Hard copy responses may be sent to:

Health and Sport Committee, T3.60, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP

All written evidence received may be published by the Parliament and will be treated as a public document. If you wish to submit evidence in confidence or anonymously please read the policy at the link above.

What happens next?

The Committee will be considering those witnesses it wishes to hear oral evidence from in due course, based on a thematic approach to the Bill and also informed by the written evidence received. Stage 1 oral evidence sessions are likely to take place after the summer recess.


Should you require alternative formats of this information or further assistance in making a written submission to the Committee, please do not hesitate to contact the clerking team of the Committee.

For committee information, contact: Rebecca Macfie, tel 0131 348 5247, email:

For media enquires, contact: Kirsty Rimmer, tel 0131 348 6085 email:

For public information enquiries, contact: 0131 348 5000

For general enquires, contact: 0845 278 1999 (local call rate), email: