Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Alcohol (Public Health & Criminal Justice) (Scotland) Bill

New consultation from Scottish Labour MSP's Richard Simpson and Graham Pearson on their proposed Alcohol (Public Health & Criminal Justice) (Scotland) Bill.

While SHA Scotland supports minimum alcohol pricing we also recognise that this is only one measure of many that needs to be taken to tackle alcohol abuse in Scotland. 

 The Bill contains a total of 14 measures, spanning public health and criminal justice policy including:
  • Stop retailers flaunting the new ban on bulk-buy promotions by closing down a loophole in the law
  • Require government to report on progress on public health and child protection licensing objectives
  • Clamp down on alcohol marketing in public places, especially where children may be exposed
  • Introduce a legal limit of 150 mg per litre of caffeine of pre-mixed alcoholic drinks
  • Evaluate and improve alcohol education and public information campaigns
  • Tighten the law to prevent unfair discrimination against 18-21 year olds in off-sales
  • Give local communities a greater say in licensing decisions
  • Establish a National Licensing Forum to drive forward improvements in licensing laws and devise solutions to emerging problems
  • Give local authorities powers to roll out ‘bottle-tagging’ to help the authorities crack-down on retailers selling to those under age and proxy purchasing
  • More targeted disposals for those convicted of alcohol-related offences
  • Fast track treatment for individuals taken into custody who are perceived to have an alcohol problem
  • Give courts powers to ban individuals from drinking in specified places to help curb alcohol-related criminal or disorderly behaviour and to protect others from such behaviour
  • Extend the successful Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO) to cover offences where alcohol has been a factor
  • Require GPs to be notified of any new conviction by patients where alcohol was a factor to ensure patient receives appropriate treatment and support
This is a comprehensive paper that sets out a cogent case for the measures described. The consultation paper can be downloaded here. The SHA Scotland will be considering this at our May meeting and we would encourage members to read the paper and let us have your views.

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