The Scottish Government has dismissed reports that local authorities have been given the "green light" to prevent under- 21s from buying alcohol in the off-trade.
A press report in The Herald claimed that the draft guidance on the incoming Alcohol Etc (Scotland) Act 2010 would give new powers to local authorities to impose conditions on a case by case basis.
However, the newly-elected government stressed that licensing boards already have this power, and that the Alcohol Act does not offer a 'green light' in this respect, but a reiteration of guidance under 2005 legislation.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Licensing boards have always had the power, under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, to impose conditions on a licensed premises on a case-by-case basis restricting the sale of alcohol to those under 21 years of age. The Alcohol etc (Scotland) Act 2010 does not alter this ability."