Happy hours in pubs, bars and clubs in Scotland will be banned from today as part of a raft of meaures to cut down on anti social drinking
Happy hours in Scottish pubs, bars and clubs will be banned from today as new licensing laws come into force to help cut alcohol-related problems across the country.
Communities will be given more powers to close down problem premises and pubs will also be legally required to give tap water away for free as part of the changes under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.
Fergus Ewing, Scotland's minister for community safety, said: "We are proud of our welcoming pubs and fine brews and spirits, but we want people to be able to enjoy them safely.
"The 2005 Act clearly sets out the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, securing public safety, preventing public nuisance, protecting and improving public health and protecting children from harm. These are the key things both boards and licensees must aim to achieve.
Under the new rules - the biggest shake up to Scotland's licensing laws in 30 years - anyone who lives near a place selling alcohol can ask a licensing board to review its existing licence, or can object to applications for new licences.
Ewing said: "This will play a part in rebalancing Scotland's relationship with alcohol and we will build on this with our plans to further tackle the culture of alcohol misuse by introducing a minimum price for a unit of alcohol."