NEW figures show just four licensed premises in Scotland have been prosecuted for selling alcohol to drunks in the past three years, sparking criticism of the push for further legislation around alcohol.

The statistics show one prosecution each in 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 and two in the year in between, in keeping with the trend throughout the last decade.

However, the trends for underage sales and buying alcohol for under 18s appear to be on the up.

In the three years there were 304 prosecutions for underage sales and 318 for purchasing alcohol for underage teens.

The figures prompted some in the trade, and licensing experts, to question why there was a further pursuit around restricting the availability of alcohol to reduce social and health harm when selling alcohol to drunken individuals goes all but unpunished.

Aileen Keyes, director of public affairs at the Wines and Spirits Trade Association, said: "Instead of seeking to introduce yet more licensing legislation the Scottish Government should be focusing on enforcing existing powers."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "If there is evidence premises are selling alcohol to drunk people, this could lead to their licence coming under review.

"The Government has always called for the full enforcement of the law. "