The number of licensed premises charged by police with selling alcohol to under-18s in Edinburgh doubled last year as officers cracked down on illegal sales.
A total of 38 offences were recorded in the capital between April 2008 and March last year, compared with just 19 for the same period in the previous year.
Jack Law, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, told The Journal: “Licensing Standards Officers and Police are now cracking down on premises, large and small, which break the law. We're pleased to see that Edinburgh Licensing Board is suspending licences where the law has been broken.
“We need to stop this culture where licence holders, staff and the general public think it's okay for 16 and 17 year olds to be drinking large amounts of alcohol because ‘we all did it when we were young’.
"The law is there to protect young people from the disproportionate amount of harm alcohol does to teenagers' developing bodies.”
The latest figures, revealed by justice secretary Kenny MacAskill in an answer to a parliamentary question, cover charges brought against pubs, clubs and off licenses.
The police have secured a number of charges by employing test purchasing, a scheme launched in May 2008, where under 18s are sent to premises to try to catch out staff.
A police spokesman referred to test purchasing as having “proved an effective means of identifying licensees selling alcohol to under-18s, while acting as a deterrent to prevent further illegal sales".
But figures from last May showed that fewer than a quarter of Edinburgh shop and bar staff accused of selling drink to minors were prosecuted.
Police had recorded a total of 288 charges of illegal sales of alcohol over the last five years but only 62 cases reached the courts.