Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell says Friday’s ruling by the Court of Session in favour of minimum unit pricing for alcohol justifies the SNP Government’s decision to push ahead with the legislation.
Lord Doherty dismissed a challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association when he ruled the policy was within the powers of Scottish ministers and was in line with European Union law.
Mr Russell said: “Mounting evidence shows quite clearly the effectiveness that a minimum price per unit will have in Scotland – essential if we are to tackle Scotland’s damaging relationship with alcohol.
“That relationship costs all of us billions of pounds every year, not least in hospital and policing costs, but also carries a horrendous human cost for the families of everyone who has lost a loved one to an alcohol related death.
“Nobody has ever claimed that minimum pricing is a silver-bullet for all of Scotland’s alcohol related woes, but it is an important tool that this country needs and we now look forward to being able to implement the policy.”
The trade organisations behind the challenge have said they will appeal Lord Doherty’s ruling.