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, and
- protecting children and young persons from harm.
The licensing regime is also impacted by:
- Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act 2010
- Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010
- Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012
- Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015
The licensing regime is also affected by a range of secondary legislation.