A Scottish MSP has called for tougher licensing laws after new figures revealed a high level of test purchase failures. Of the 644 stores in Scotland tested since December 2007, 87 sold alcohol to youngsters, with five failing a second test.
Bill Aitken MSP called the 14% level of failure "unacceptable". He said: "It is quite clear that Licensing Boards need to toughen up in their attitude to licensees selling drink to underage buyers."
Aitken added: "Licensed grocers have a particular responsibility to be vigilant and some are clearly being negligent. Anybody who knowingly sells alcohol to under-18s should have their licence revoked."
Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) chief executive John Drummond responded: "If the Scottish government is really so concerned about underage drinking, rather than continue to introduce a variety of dubious restrictions for the off trade we would like it to use existing legislative powers to crack down on the real problem - youngsters who try to buy alcohol and those adults who buy it on their behalf.
"There may be bad apples, but it would be unfair to label all retailers as irresponsible."