Current legislation gives enforcement agencies the power to review, suspend or revoke alcohol licences. Retailers can also face fines of up to ú10,000 and a 48-hour closure notice if they are found to be repeatedly selling alcohol to children.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "The creation of a code would just duplicate existing laws. There is already legislation in place to tackle alcohol retailers who persistently flout the law and sell alcohol to under-18s or to drunks.
"Rather than create further regulation, which will add a further burden onto responsible retailers, local authorities need guidance to use existing legislation to target the small minority of problem premises."