Festival drink curfew ‘well observed’

PUBLICANS and their clientele responded well to last year’s plea to curb early morning outdoor drinking during the region’s common ridings and local festivals.

“The rules were generally well observed,” said a spokesperson for Scottish Borders Licensing Board.

A year ago the board issued a public statement, warning licensees they faced a fine of up to £1,000 and a review of their licences, if members of the public were allowed to take alcohol outside the premises before 10am and after 10pm.

That is a mandatory requirement of the new Licensing (Scotland) Act and applies to all licensed premises – even those granted special consent to open early during civic celebrations. Occasional licences to sell drink at 6am have been granted to applying premises in Hawick, which celebrates its Common Riding next Friday, and Lauder, while 8am concessions have been granted to pubs in Selkirk.

“We feel there is no need to issue a formal warning this year,” said the spokesperson. “Licensees should, by now, be well aware of their responsibilities.”