Alcohol licensing: guidance

Guidance on alcohol licensing, personal licences and alcohol byelaws.

Licensing legislation

The main piece of legislation controlling the sale of alcohol in Scotland is the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. This Act balances the rights of the majority of people who drink responsibly against the need to protect local communities from nuisance and crime associated with misuse of alcohol. It is intended to provide a clear and consistent underpinning for the alcohol licensing regime in Scotland based upon the five licensing objectives:

  • preventing crime and disorder
  • securing public safety
  • preventing public nuisance
  • protecting and improving public health
  • protecting children and young persons from harm

The licensing regime is also impacted by:

The licensing regime is also affected by a range of secondary legislation.

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