Scottish drink driving laws slow bar sales

19 February 2015 by
Scottish drink driving laws slow bar sales

The introduction of new drink drive limits in Scotland have led to a 60% drop in bar sales in December and January, according to a purchasing expert.

On 5 December 2014 the alcohol limit for drivers in Scotland was reduced from 80 milligrams of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood to 50 milligrams of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood.

It means that an average man is limited to just under a pint of beer or a large glass of wine, and women to half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.

As a result of the new law, Beacon said that bar sales were struggling across Scotland. Its findings follow pub giant Greene King reporting slower trading in Scotland due to a combination of the new drink-driving laws and poorer weather.

After surveying a sample of its 400 Scottish customers, beacon found a drop in bar sales of 10%-60%.

Beacon director of sales Tennant Hilditch, said: "The new tougher laws have shown an immediate impact on the hospitality industry in Scotland. Traditional lunchtime drinkers, or post-golf drinkers in the clubhouse have been particularly affected by the new rules.

Nikki Robertson, general manager at Best Western Woodlands hotel in Dundee, said the business had been hit hardest at lunchtimes.

"Although our evening sales are remaining steady, we just can't charge as much for low alcohol wine or beer, and at lunchtime, we are finding that many of our guests are just enjoying a jug of tap water with their lunch - it's great for safety on the roads, but it puts us in the hospitality industry in a difficult position moving into the busy spring and summer seasons," she added.

Beacon said that operators should consider offering later check out time, and serving lunch earlier, to provide greater flexibility for drivers who have drunk the night before. It also suggested offering different sizes such as schooners (a two-thirds pint glass) along with a selection of mocktails.

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