Pubs to ask 18-21 year olds for proof of age under new alcohol scheme

Licensed traders in Shetland will soon be asking anyone who appears to be under 21 to prove their age before buying alcohol.

The Challenge 21 policy will be introduced into all licensed Shetland premises on 21st May, and is being welcomed by the trade as a way of protecting underage children.

The new ruling does not prevent those aged 18 from buying alcohol provided they can supply identifica­tion to support their purchase.

The only acceptable forms of ID are a passport, photographic driving licence, Young Scot card with PASS hologram or the Citizencard with hologram. If the licensed premises is not satisfied that the ID proves the holder is over 18, they must refuse to sell alcohol.

The scheme has been developed by the Shetland Licensing Forum, comprising SIC, licensed traders, police, NHS Shetland and the voluntary sector, such as halls association members. All licensed premises were consulted about the policy, which received overwhelming support as a way of tackling difficulties staff face when making decisions about a person’s age.

Tough new licensing laws are coming into force in September, and Challenge 21 is the first of many schemes to ensure licensees are complying with the law and delivering licensing objectives.

Convener of the licensing board Cecil Smith said: “The board supports Challenge 21 as it will help licensees tackle the problem of underage drinking. I understand it is difficult [for licensees] when young people are trying to purchase alcohol or getting other people to buy it for them.”


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