The chairman of Lanarkshire-based Botterills Convenience Stores was speaking as national judge at last month's Robert Wiseman Dairies Neighbourhood Store of the Year Awards in St Andrews - a role that saw him travel the length and breadth of the UK.
He said: "The sale of age-related products is the single biggest challenge we will face in the next few years as the government moves to improve our nation's health," he said. "This applies on both sides of the Border - underage and binge drinking is getting out of control and we are being blamed for society's problems.
"But we must not be complacent. There are at least two retailers here this evening who have lost their off licence."
Botterill revealed that during his store visits, 19 out of 40 licensed stores "did not have, could not find or did not fill in" a register of refused sales. "If this is the cream of our retailers then I am afraid our industry is in serious trouble," he said. "It is time we all collectively took action and accepted we have a problem before it is too late."