Scottish pubs suffer as tougher drink driving laws bite

By Mike Berry contact

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish pubs have been hit by tougher drink driving laws
Scottish pubs have been hit by tougher drink driving laws

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage, Scottish licensed trade association, Chief executive

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association has urged the Government to do more to support pubs north of the border, following a survey that reveals two thirds of outlets have suffered a decline in like-for-like sales of up to 10% following the introduction of tougher drink driving limits.

Of those pubs, almost a third said the drop in sales was more than 10%, with some saying the decline was 30% plus on midweek takings.

The biggest loss to outlets was in alcohol sales, with seven in 10 pubs reporting a downturn of 10% or more in sales. However, the results show there has also been a negative effect on food and non-alcoholic drink sales with some venues reporting a decline of over a third in food revenue.

'Worrying'

Paul Waterson, chief executive of the SLTA, said: “These results, which mirror other earlier trade surveys, are very worrying. The fight is on to save our trade. Our members are saying  that customers are now afraid to stop and have one drink at their local on the way home from work, and many who take the family out for a mid-week bite or Sunday lunch, aren’t coming in at all.

“People worried about driving with small residual amounts of alcohol in their bloodstream after a night out is having the most significant effect on stopping people coming into our premises of an evening.

“People can be very dismissive of the impact of individual pub closures, but this isn’t about one or two outlets employing five or six people. Last year, before the change to the drink driving regulations, we had 5 or 6 closures every week, with 30 or 40 job losses, over a year this runs into thousands. That closure rate looks like it will rise this year."

Related topics: Legislation

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2 comments

Should have spoken up sooner

Posted by Bradshaw,

Surely the SLTA should have made much more of a fuss about this before the law was passed, given that the effects were not exactly hard to predict. I get the impression it was nodded through with little serious opposition.

Rather like the smoking ban where many licensees seemed genuinely surprised that their trade had dropped off a cliff.

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Pubs are finished

Posted by OnceMultipleOperator,

For far too long, the nasty Pubcos have been creaming off all the profits, and now politicians are criminalising the Pint after work. Will the last publican please turn off the lights for the good, on the way out!

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