Teenage protest at drink age bid.
MORE than 10,000 people have signed a petition against a bid to raise the age for buying booze in Scottish shops.
Ministers want to increase the age for buying alcohol in off-licences and supermarkets from 18 to 21 after growing concern over Scotland's drinking culture.
But the move has provoked an angry response from students and young people across the country.
The Coalition Against Raising the Drinking Age in Scotland - Cardas - warned it could backfire and increase alcohol abuse.
The group's members include the National Union of Students Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament. Spokesman Tom French said: "Raising the minimum purchase age for alcohol is a bad policy that will not help solve Scotland's alcohol problem and could increase alcohol misuse as it's done in the US.
"It demonises young people and infringes on the rights of the responsible majority of young adults who would be trusted to go to war, get married and even run a pub at 18 - but could not have a glass of wine over dinner with friends or family."
He accused the Scottish government of being "pigheaded" by trying to push through such a "deeply unpopular" measure.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said last night: "Alcohol misuse costs at least pounds 2.25billion every year. We need to take action now to rebalance our relationship with alcohol."
KEY bills to be brought before Holyrood by SNP: lReplace council tax with a 3p rise in income tax.
Ban under-21s from buying alcohol in shops; minimum drink prices.
Restrict cigarette displays in shops.
New powers to halt school closures.
Co-ordinated effort to combat flooding.
Approval of government spending plan for 2009-10.
New national body for children's hearings.
Targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
Separate Holyrood and council elections after last year's voting fiasco.
Reduce quangos by a quarter by 2011.
Allow supermarkets and banks to offer legal services.
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|Publication:||Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Sep 7, 2008|
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