Mandatory Challenge 25 for Scots pubs

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Scotland Patrick browne

Challenge 25: compulsory in Scotland from October
Challenge 25: compulsory in Scotland from October
Making the Challenge 25 age check policy compulsory in pubs on Saturday 1 October could be "very problematic for pubs", says SBPA.

Making the Challenge 25 age check policy compulsory in pubs on Saturday 1 October — the busiest day of the week — could be "very problematic for pubs".

That's according to Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) chief executive Patrick Browne who feared a double whammy of regulation on that day when cigarette vending machines will also be banned.

The date was announced in Scottish Parliament this week.

Browne said the organisation was not consulted about the date and has since raised its concerns with the Scottish government.

"We would have preferred such a major change to be introduced on a less busy day of the week given that it is will pose additional workloads on pubs and their staff and has the potential to lead to tension in pubs as customers, some as old as 26 and 27, are asked to produce ID for the first time when they are buying alcohol.

"They will have to be refused the sale if they cannot produce it."

Browne highlighted that the smoking ban came into effect in Scotland at 6am on Sunday 26 March 2006 after concerns about the exact time of implementation were recognised by the government.

"It is a pity that this principle was not accepted this time," he said.


"A further complication is that the ban on self service cigarette vending machines in Scotland is also due to come into effect in pubs on 1 October.

"Introducing two major legislative changes affecting pubs at the same time really doesn't make a lot of sense and it looks like it will be a long shift for licensees and their staff that weekend."

In England and Wales, the Government proposed making Challenge 21 compulsory in an early draft of the mandatory alcohol retailing code.

The proposal was dropped from the final version of the code, implemented last year, which merely required venues to have an age verification policy in place so people who look under 18 are asked for ID.

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