Alcohol checkout plan slammed

22 October, 2008

Government proposals to introduce alcohol-only checkouts in supermarkets have been criticised by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

The WSTA was responding to press reports that such a move was being considered by the government as a measure to tackle binge drinking.

Checkouts would be operated by specially-trained staff, according to the Telegraph, which quoted a senior government source saying: “Having separate areas to sell alcohol will help us tackle this growing problem of young people getting tanked up on cheap supermarket beers and lagers.”

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said date from Morrisons showed that shops that had separate drinks shops for historical reasons sold 4% more alcohol than those with conventional checkout systems.

He added: “Politicians would be better off working with the police to enforce the many laws we have that are not yet used rather than creating a walk of shame for millions of ordinary people who are doing nothing wrong.”

Morrisons corporate affairs director Richard Taylor said: “Having separate checkouts for alcohol will not help tackle alcohol misuse.”

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