Alcohol Licence Law Alcohol licence Scotland

Published on October 12th, 2011 | by Dean Carr


Challenge 25 for Scotland

Scottish Liquor Licensing Law Update

Challenge 25 – Age verification policy

On 1 October 2011 the majority of the Alcohol etc (Scotland) Act 2010 (the Act) came into force. This makes significant changes for off-sales operators – however, all holders of Premises or Occasional Licences in Scotland will be affected by a new mandatory condition.

This new condition requires an Age Verification Policy (the Policy) to be in place in relation to the sale of alcohol on the premises. ” Challenge 25″

The Policy requires that steps are taken to establish the age of a person attempting to buy alcohol on the premises (the customer) if it appears to the person selling the alcohol that the customer may be less than 25 years of age (or such older age as the licence holder may wish to set).

The Act provides no guidance as to the wording of any Policy but the licence holder must have a Policy in place.

So what is Challenge 25? let us explain in simple terms!

Anyone who appears under the age of 25 should be challenged to prove their age when attempting to purchase alcohol or any other age restricted products

In verifying age, it is reasonable to presume that only the following documents will be satisfactory to comply with the verification policy:-

Passport; or
European Photocard Driving Licence; or
Proof of age card bearing a ‘PASS’ hologram.

We at alcohol would advise on the following forms of identification.

  • UK Driving Licence
  • UK Provisional Driving Licence
  • Valid Passport
  • Pass Hologram Identity Card (Young Scott Card) etc

If the above documentation is not produced on request then the Policy cannot be complied with and the sale of alcohol should be refused.

The Policy must be in place on or before Saturday 1 October 2011. A failure to comply with this mandatory condition will be a criminal offence in terms of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 which could result in a fine and/or imprisonment. It could also result in a review of the Premises Licence resulting in suspension or revocation of the Licence.

To help you implement your challenge 25 policy we have asked Personal Licence and PLT Limited to design a “Challenge 25 Poster” for the Scottish retail market. They have kindly agreed and produced a new A4 poster

You can download your free copy here “Challenge 25 Scotland”

Your “Challenge 25 Scotland” poster should be displayed at your business premises in a prominent position to inform customers who appear under 25 years of age they will be challenged to prove their age!

You can also download a free copy from


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About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188

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