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It’s a criminal offence to buy alcohol for someone under 18. You could face a FINE of up to £5,000 or up to 3 months in PRISON. Or both.

Tackling underage drinking, by tackling the adults who ask for it

Underage drinking can cause antisocial behaviour, crime and violence in our local communities.

This summer, police in Leith, working closely with local retailers, are cracking down on proxy purchasers – those adults who buy alcohol for under 18s.

Under the ‘You’re Asking For It’ campaign, off licences and supermarkets will be monitored – if you’re caught, you will be fined, and could face criminal prosecution.

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What are the consequences?

If you’re the adult being asked to get it…

  • Buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offence.
  • Depending on the circumstances, if you’re caught you could be fined up to £5,000.
  • You could also face a prison sentence of up to three months and a criminal record.
  • Alcohol-related anti social behaviour and violence affects everyone. It might be someone you know who suffers.

If you’re the one asking an adult…

  • You’ll be taken home to your parents by the police.
  • Alcohol can have a significant impact on your health, and put you in vulnerable or dangerous situations.
  • You’ll lose the money you’ve handed over, and the alcohol purchased on your behalf will be confiscated.
  • If it’s an older brother, sister or mate, you’ve asked, then you’re putting them on the spot – they will be the ones facing a fine and a criminal record.

If you’re the shop getting asked…

  • We know it can be hard to spot and stop customers buying for under 18s, but there are a number of steps that you can take.
  • Police Scotland can help. Visit www.scotland.police.uk for advice, resources and information.
Don't risk it

FAQs: Frequent Asking For it Questions

How do I report someone buying alcohol for under 18s?

If you suspect a proxy purchase is taking place, contact the Leith police on 101, or tell the manager of the shop in which the alcohol was purchased.

How can I get involved with the campaign?

If you’re a retailer or stakeholder, contact j.lee@scotgrocersfed.co.uk to request campaign resources, or download posters here.

What if I’m stopped and asked?

If you’re approached by an under 18 to buy alcohol on their behalf, always say no. Let the shop know, and inform Leith police where and when you were asked.

What if the alcohol I’m buying is for a family member?

Buying alcohol on behalf of an under 18 is always against the law.

What is the aim of the campaign?

By raising awareness of the consequences of proxy purchase, we hope to reduce the number of attempted purchases of alcohol for under 18s, reduce crime and antisocial behavior, and reduce the number of hospital admissions for under 18s with alcohol related injuries.

What are the police doing?

The Police in Leith are increasing patrols in the area.

How will adults buying it be caught?

Police officers will be on duty and on the lookout for offences, particularly in areas known to be proxy purchase hotspots.

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