The Government has called on the pub trade to hasten its roll-out of the British Beer & Pub Association's (BBPA) Challenge 21 scheme.
The scheme calls on publicans to ID check drinkers who look under the age of 21.
The Youth Alcohol Action Plan, which was unveiled today, encourages the wider use of proof-of-age schemes as well as an increase in voluntary test purchase programmes as part of plans to tackle under-age drinking.
The report also recommends a tighter relationship between the wider drinks industry and the Government to ensure that alcohol is promoted and marketed in a responsible way.
Challenge 21 has existed for more than two years as part of an under-age drinking awareness campaign by the BBPA, and 350,000 posters promoting the scheme have already been delivered to pubs across the UK.
However the Government's Youth Alcohol Action Plan is primarily targeted at stopping under-age drinkers from consuming alcohol in public places.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "If you can't buy alcohol you shouldn't be able to drink it in public either.
"Underage drinking erodes the safety and well being of communities as well as damaging young people's health. It's not right and I am determined to put a stop to it."
For more on the subject see our binge drinking news round-up.
By Christopher Walon
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