Coalition Against Raising the Drinking Age in Scotland

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Alcohol badge.jpg This article is part of the Spinwatch public health oriented Alcohol Portal project.

The Coalition Against Raising the Drinking Age in Scotland (Cardas) is a single issue student led campaign group. Motivated by the SNP government in Scotland's plans to increase the legal age to purchase alcohol from off-sales from 18 to 21. [1] The SNP's proposal has already been defeated in the Scottish Parliament with Student groups Alcohol Industry and opposition parties all opposed to the idea.

Alcohol Industry Funding

The Sunday Herald found that the student group had been backed with alcohol industry cash. Negotiations between the alcohol industry and CARDAS took place within the Scottish Parliament. The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), a body that represents drinks giants such Diageo provided funding for the campaigns printing. According to the Herald:

Tom French, a student in Edinburgh who heads Cardas, confirmed to the Sunday Herald that his organisation received support from the drinks industry. "Absolutely, yes, we did," he said. "We received funding for our campaign materials." Cardas's highly visible campaign included the production of 500 posters, 5000 leaflets and 500 constituency lobby cards, the invoices from which were paid by the drinks industry.

Furthermore, the Herald reports that Maclay, Murray and Spens a law firm which represents clients with alcohol industry links such as ASDA. Lawyers at the firm have been examining European legislation which they say would render some of the SNP's proposals to tackle Scotland's soaring rates of alcohol related harm as unlawful. [2]


  1. Cardas Website Home Page accessed 28th October 2008
  2. Paul Hutcheon, Sunday Herald, 12th October 2008 Students’ licensing protest backed by drinks industry accessed 28th October 2008