Source - The Herald 31/05/2011
The SNP Government is to revisit plans to ban the sale of drink at supermarket self-service tills amid concerns youngsters can readily buy alcohol using automated machines.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is to kick-start discussions with police and licensing boards over the proposal amid a rapid growth in self-scanning at large stores and concerns they can be breached by underage teenagers buying drink illegally.
Last November, one of Scotland’s largest supermarkets fell foul of a police sting designed to catch retailers selling alcohol to children after a 16-year-old was able to buy a two-litre bottle of cider without being challenged for identification.
Tesco at St Rollox in Glasgow was banned from selling alcohol at all self-service checkouts for four weeks, hitting the retailer at the busiest time of the year for alcohol sales.
The local licensing board then changed the supermarket’s licensing conditions to ensure all sales through self-scanning must be authorised personally by the personal licence holder.
In the fallout, SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell urged supermarkets to stop selling alcohol at self-service tills. He suggested they voluntarily suspend alcohol sales through self-service tills as they were not in use at the time of the 2005 Licensing Act.
His proposals won the support of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems.
The Government is expected to push through a number of measures to tackle alcohol abuse, including minimum pricing.