Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Friday, 28 November 2014


I have blogged from time to time on illegal alcohol sales to children and the dearth of convictions under s.146.  I have also commented from time to time that in many respects the legal system in Scotland is more responsive and more equitable in its application of existing or new legislation to meet changing circumstances.  Recent experiences have reinforced that conviction.

I recently spent some time north of the border and not unnaturally spent a few moments or two having a bevy in a local hostelry accompanied by my niece who is a graceful 22 year old with the beauty and innocent charm of a cherub obviously inherited from her mother who is not my blood relative. Having ordered my large Highland Park my niece requested a single of the same bottle.  The very pleasant landlord asked her for I.D. even although she was accompanied by her wizened grey haired uncle who vouched for her mature years at least as far as the purchase of alcohol was concerned.  All this was to no avail as she did not have her driving license or any other age identifier on her person.  On serving her a diet coke the landlord explained that it was not worth risking his license in such a circumstance.  In 2012, as he explained, supermarket giant Asda had its alcohol licence suspended for 24 hours following a test purchase sting in 2012 and as a consequence he followed the rules explicitly; no I.D.: no alcohol served.

This time next week Scotland`s new limits on drink driving become law. Permitted alcohol level is being cut from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood.  Personally I would argue for a zero limit but Scotland`s brave example shows what a justice ministry can do when it is not rampaging down a headlong course to impose its occupant`s desire to destroy all that the word justice means.


  1. And 50 mg is now the usual limit in most countries. We should adopt the lower limit in England and Wales as well.

  2. Go Scotland! I was recently asked for ID whilst purchasing alcohol in the Blairgowrie branch of Tesco. Last September saw my 59th birthday. I was curiously flattered.