Scotland: Club bars being ‘killed’ by drink drive laws

Changes to legal alcohol limits having knock-on effect in hard-up clubs.

It’s one of golfs longest traditions, but changes to drink-drive limits in Scotland have resigned the post-round pint to the history books, with clubs reporting drops in alcohol sales by as much as 70 per cent.

Strict rules came into force on December 5 which limit the men to less than a pint of alcohol, and the change is said to be hitting clubs hard.

Whereas golfers would previously finish a round with an alcoholic drink in the clubhouse, they are now choosing to either have a hot drink or forgoing a trip to the bar completely.

Allan Shaw is president of the Lothian Golf Association and he said “This is certainly a threat to the existence of clubs. They are struggling for membership and this is yet another challenge.”

Anyone caught drink-driving in Scotland now faces a driving ban of at least a year and up to six months in jail.
‘This is yet another challenge’ A Scottish Government spokeswoman said drink-driving puts lives at risks and the advice is therefore for people not to have any alcohol at all. She added: “Alcohol at any level will affect your ability to drive.”

However, Duncan Hay, bar manager at Haddington, said he had seen a drop in alcohol sales of around 70 per cent as players opt against a post-round pint. He said: “I can go a day without serving any alcohol. People know police are out patrolling and are being extra careful.”

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