In October 2011, the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 was amended by the introduction of a new mandatory condition for all premises licences and occasional licences. This provides that there must be an age verification policy in relation to the sale of alcohol on the premises. The section has set a minimum age of 25 years for the policy where it appears to the person selling the alcohol that the customer may be under the age of 25 years. Premises may set any minimum age for their own policy provided that it is 25 years or over.
The licence holder is merely required to have a policy and no information as to the specific wording of a policy is given in the Act.
Since the requirement to have a policy in place will be a mandatory premises licence condition, a failure to do so is technically a criminal offence under Sections 1(1) and (3) of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. It could also result in the review of a premises licence leading to the imposition of a sanction and would be treated as an aggravating factor in the event that alcohol was sold to a person under the age of 18.