A reminder to all our students that the law in Scotland requires retailers of alcohol to ask for proof of age from every customer they know, or believe to be, under 25. Take an acceptable form of ID
with you when you go out. We recommend that you apply for a Young Scot card
- this is accepted as a proof of age, and is available to most under 25s living in Scotland. It's a lot less risky than carrying your passport or driving license.
Note that your matriculation card will not be accepted for alcohol purchases - even in the Union bar. (Though we're afraid you will still need it to get in!) Remember that staff are required to ask for ID, in all bars and off-licenses in town - their job depends on it, so please co-operate.
Most importantly of all, if you are under 18 - even if it's only a month, a week or a day until your birthday - you must not buy or attempt to buy alcohol. And if a friend you're with is under 18, you must not buy or attempt to buy alcohol for them. The penalties for these offences are severe - you can wind up banned from the Union building or facing hefty fines if it's reported to the police. In particular, using a false ID (for example, a driving license or passport belonging to someone else) can result in a fine of up to £5000 and even the possibility of a prison sentence. And trouble with the police could result in disciplinary action being taken against you by the University - up to and including the termination of your studies.
The Association has already had to take action against several students attempting to buy alcohol in our own bar. We issue a six-month ban as standard for a first offence, with a life ban for persistent offenders. That's a ban from the whole building, day and night, so you might miss out on society activities as well as nights out. The penalty is the same whether you are caught trying to buy for yourself or for a friend.
We train our staff carefully and have robust systems in place to check for underage drinking. The Association is all about students enjoying themselves, and the last thing we want is to stop students coming along to their Union: but we must and will take action to defend our license on behalf of all the students who enjoy it responsibly.
Remember, students under 18 have a right to come into the Union - it's your Union too - but you can't buy, attempt to buy, or drink alcohol when you do. It's against the law.