A LAW that sets a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland has been implemented effectively, with compliance high among licensed premises, according to a new report.

Minimum unit pricing (MUP) came into force in May last year and requires all licensed premises in Scotland to set a floor price of 50 pence per unit of alcohol, below which alcohol cannot be sold.

In a study carried out by NHS Scotland, Licensing Standards officers, Trading Standards officers and police officers with a licensing remit were interviewed about their experience of implementation and compliance issues.

They were also asked about their perception of whether there had been any changes in the unlicensed sale of alcohol.

The report concluded that in the main the policy was being well implemented, with high levels of compliance in licensed premises such as convenience stores and supermarkets.

It noted that where examples of non-compliance were identified, all issues were considered minor and swiftly resolved.

Inspection and enforcement practitioners also did not report any known increase in illegal and unlicensed alcohol activity related to the introduction of MUP.

The report also indicated that in premises where higher prices are typically found – such as pubs, clubs and restaurants – businesses had been largely unaffected by the implementation of MUP.

Elinor Dickie, from NHS Health Scotland, the report’s author, said: “Minimum unit pricing has the potential to improve Scotland’s relationship with alcohol and reduce the harm it causes. But MUP in the form we have it in Scotland hasn’t been put it in place anywhere before. That’s why it’s so important to gather evidence of its impact through a robust and comprehensive evaluation.

“This study represents a crucial foundation for the rest of our evaluation.”