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Responsible local shops have nothing to fear from new alcohol code

The Association of Convenience Stores has reassured local shop retailers that new rules on checking ID for those under 18 are ‘nothing to fear’ for the overwhelming majority of the industry.


Responsible local shops have nothing to fear from new alcohol code

The Government today published its new mandatory code of practice for alcohol retailing. The code constitutes of 5 mandatory licensing conditions, including a requirement for retailers to check the ID of anyone that looks under the age of 18.

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “Preventing underage sales is the number one priority for any local shop selling alcohol. Retailers know that they have to develop a robust sales prevention policy and a comprehensive approach to staff training. ACS encourages all its members to adopt a strict challenge 25 policy, whereby any customer who looks under that age should be asked to prove their age when buying alcohol. Retailers that implement this will not fall foul of the new law.

“Local shops are on the frontline of preventing underage drinking in communities. There is consistent improvement in the performance of shops in reducing access to alcohol for young people. Retailers accept that if they fail in their responsibilities they face tough sanctions, but we expect this to be matched by a commitment from politicians, police and communities to support local shops in their difficult frontline role.”

The Government announcement which includes a range of restrictions on promotions undertaken in the pub trade has been criticised by pub and health campaigners for not extending restrictions on alcohol pricing to supermarkets and off licences.

Mr Lowman commented: “An introduction of minimum price per unit would have limited impact on local shops, which are not able to offer those very low cost promotions. However any regulation that would restrict the price of alcohol must be based on evidence that it would be effective in tackling problem drinkers. It is important that measures do not harm the vast majority of consumers who drink sensibly.

“The other promotional restrictions would increase bureaucracy for local shops. There should not be any further regulation unless there is clear evidence that these measures would be effective in reducing the alcohol related harms caused by the small minority of problem drinkers.”

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