Licensing lawyer Robert Botkai has been defending the sale of alcohol on petrol stations in a live debate on Radio Four today.

Following the decision by West Yorkshire Police to oppose a forecourt retailer’s alcohol licence, the police force has indicated it wants to clamp down on forecourts selling alcohol.

Botkai, head of the property and licensing department at Winckworth Sherwood, stressed that an off licence is an integral part of a convenience offer on a forecourt and that there was no evidence of a link between drink driving and the sale of alcohol in petrol stations.

The law currently states that forecourts should be allowed to sell alcohol as long as their primary use is not as a garage.

"There has been no recent change in law. Petrol stations can sell alcohol if they have a licence and if their primary use is not the retail of fuel,” said Botkai. “If no one objects to an application for a licence it’s granted.

“There are objections from time to time but the Magistrate usually comes down on the side that there is no link with drink driving and selling alcohol on petrol stations.”

West Yorkshire Police has said that it “considers those applications on a case by case basis”.