The UK drinks industry has welcomed a draft Identity Cards Bill as part of crackdown on alcohol misuse, which was announced in this week's Queen's Speech.

The Wine and Spirit Association (WSA), which represents the off-trade and suppliers to the on-trade, says that ID cards will effectively stamp out underage drinking, currently one of the problems being scrutinised by the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit on Alcohol Harm Reduction.

Quentin Rappoport, WSA director, said: "We have been calling for a nationally-recognised identity card for many years and are delighted to see that the draft Bill will be put before Parliament in the next session.

"The drinks industry sees ID cards as a crucial part of solving the problem of alcohol misuse as, despite increased retailer training and industry-led voluntary proof of age schemes, too many under-18s still manage to buy alcohol.  A simple system of 'no ID card, no sale' will virtually solve the problem overnight."

ID cards are one of several measures put forward by the WSA to the Strategy Unit for tackling alcohol misuse.  Other suggestions include voluntary unit labelling and voluntary sensible drinking messages on drinks packaging and more stringent application of the ITC advertising code for alcoholic drinks.