Get quick answers to common questions about proxy purchase and the It’ll Cost You campaign.
Frequently asked questions
Asking an adult to buy alcohol for under 18s is one of the most common tactics used to access alcohol.
It’s an offence in Scotland for an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol for someone who is under the age of 18, for example a child gives money to an adult to buy alcohol for them. This is known as proxy purchase.
No matter what an adult’s relationship is with the under 18-year-old it is always an offence to purchase alcohol on their behalf. Remember if you are caught, you may be subject to a £5,000 fine, a three-month prison sentence or both. Don’t risk having a criminal record.
It is also an offence for an adult to supply alcohol to those under 18 in a public space.
If you suspect a proxy purchase is taking place, contact your local police by phoning 101, or tell the manager of the shop in which the alcohol was purchased.
If you’re approached by an under 18 to buy alcohol on their behalf, always say no. Let the shop know, and inform police where and when you were asked.
By raising awareness of the consequences of proxy purchase, we hope to reduce the number of attempted purchases of alcohol for under 18s and reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.
Police officers work closely with the retail trade and the community. They will be on duty and on the lookout for offences, particularly in areas considered to be likely proxy purchase hotspots.