ENJOYING a glass of wine during a family picnic isn’t a crime in the Scottish Borders - but it soon could be.

Locals and visitors relaxing with a beer or wine and soaking up the rays of the rare Scottish sun along the banks of the River Tweed is a glorious sight, but the remnants and destruction it sometimes leads to is not.

In some parts of Scotland drinking in the streets is banned but so far it's not in the Scottish Borders.

Each council can choose whether or not this is the case by having a bylaw in place.

The local authority is now seeking the views of communities throughout the Borders to discover if drinking alcohol in public places is causing a problem - which could result in a ban.

Council Leader Shona Haslam said: “As a council we considered this proposition a few years ago but we felt that we needed to hear from local communities before taking this further.

“Do you think that they are needed? Do you think that they should be town wide, or specific to certain areas?

"Do you think that this a necessary or unnecessary step for the council to take? Therefore I would encourage you to let us know what you think.

“Any ban would not stop people drinking in their gardens, beer gardens or at licensed events, but we want to know of any potential problem areas that the public think such a ban would be helpful. Or if they think that there should not be a ban in the Borders.

“If we did end up looking at introducing bylaws we could have authority to limit any bans to certain times of year. We could, for instance, see the bylaw not being applicable in certain areas during common ridings, local festivals and New Year.”

Members of Peebles Community Council raised the consultation at their meeting this month, and say there will be “a wide variety” of public views and are encouraging locals to fill in the questionnaire.

Community councillor Graham Mackie fears a total ban will spoil the enjoyment of responsible adults.

He explained: “My personal opinion is that it’s unnecessary and I suspect the police have enough powers to deal with anti-social behaviour resulting from open-air drinking.

“I don’t like the idea that if it’s a nice sunny day and you want to have a picnic on the banks of the Tweed, you’re not allowed to have a glass of wine, it just seems to be as unnecessary legislation.

"But that’s purely a personal opinion, and there may be other people that think it’s a good thing.

My inclination is that we shouldn’t put forward a community view, we should invite all members of the community to look at it and put forward their own views.”

Chairman Les Turnbull agreed, adding: “Of course there are differing views of this issue, and recently in Peebles, there have been problems in and around Haylodge Park with people drinking and causing upset to some residents, besides leaving their detritus behind for others to clear up.

“I would like to think with some of these consultations that requires us to find the views of the community at large, that we are geared up for it in plenty of time so we can canvass people and put forward a proper considered view.”

If, as a result of this consultation and other information gathered, the drinking of alcohol in public places is identified as an issue a second consultation will take place to understand the level of support for bylaws to be introduced in these areas.

Locals are being invited to fill out the survey on Scottish Borders Council’s website which will close on June 30.