The introduction of a lower drink-driving limit in Scotland has had a dramatic effect on pub businesses, with 75% of them hit by a downturn in trade.
That's according to trade body BII Scotland, which has carried out a snap study to see how the lower limit was affecting trade.
BII Scotland chairman Stephen McGowan, said: "This snap study of our members shows a drastic effect on the pub trade with 75% of respondents adversely affected by the new laws and just under half of all businesses surveyed saying staffing levels have had to be reduced."
The study was conducted to help the BII identify what support and guidance their members are likely to require when facing this new challenge for their businesses.
Results show that 84% of BII Scotland members agree with Paul Waterson, chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, who believes that the new laws could have a greater effect on licensed retail trade businesses than the smoking ban.
McGowan commented: "The trade will work hard to adapt as it did following the smoking ban, with many hard working publicans introducing steps such as a greater range of lower ABV products and smaller glass sizes, but as our survey shows, responsible drinking habits, such as a pint after work or a glass of wine with Sunday lunch, have been taken out of the equation for many. It means an even greater hardship for traders, who lose not just the drink but the meal or other discretionary spend that may have gone with it."
Publicans have attempted to alleviate any reduction in trade with over half (58%) increasing their range of low alcohol drinks, hot beverages and soft drink products as well as providing customers with information on public transport options.
"Pubs are an intrinsic part of local communities across Scotland, a major employer and essential contributor to our world renowned hospitality. They are also a safe, regulated environment for people to relax and enjoy the company of their family and friends. In the Year of Food and Drink, we call upon the Scottish Government to strive to assist these important social and cultural assets," added McGowan.