Court allows Scotland to set cost minimums

Scotland fans in joyous mood drinking along with also also singing together in Trafalgar Square ahead of their football match, England vs Scotland, World Cup Qualifiers Group stage on 11th November 2016

Mike Kemp | Contributor | Getty Images

Scotland fans in joyous mood drinking along with also also singing together in Trafalgar Square ahead of their football match, England vs Scotland, World Cup Qualifiers Group stage on 11th November 2016

The U.K.’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday which Scotland can impose minimum prices on alcohol, a move long opposed by the Scotch Whisky Association. The ruling marks the very first time a country has established minimum cost rules for alcohol.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Absolutely delighted which minimum pricing has been upheld by the Supreme Court. This specific has been a long road — along with also also no doubt the policy will continue to have its critics — however which can be a bold along with also also necessary move to improve public health.”

The ruling will allow the government to set a minimum cost of 50 pence ($0.66) per “unit,” which can be defined as 10 milliliters of pure alcohol. A pint of strong lager or a large glass of wine may contain more than three such units of alcohol.

The move was seen as necessary by many public officials in Scotland due to the country’s high alcoholism rate. According to Alcohol Focus Scotland, a charity which combats the harmful effects of alcohol, 1 in 4 Scots drink at “hazardous or harmful” levels, along with also also Scots buy 20 percent more alcohol on average than their English or Welsh counterparts. The organization says which the maximum recommended weekly alcohol intake — 14 units — could be purchased for as little as 2.52 pounds ($3.31).

Ministers supporting the law said which a cost increase on the cheapest alcohol was needed to address Scotland’s “unhealthy relationship with drink.” The cost increase will be across the board, affecting not only cheap spirits however wine, ciders along with also also beers as well.

The Scotch Whisky Association, a trade group, said which has accepted the ruling, though which previously argued which which was an unfair restriction on trade along with also also which alcoholism could be better tackled by some other means.

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