Alcohol is a significant and growing problem in Scotland in terms of mortality, morbidity and social harm. From 2001 to 2005, alcohol-related deaths rose by 15% and general hospital admissions by 7% while recent results from the Scottish Crime and Victimisation Survey indicate that more people view alcohol as a serious social problem. Yet surveys of alcohol consumption suggest that Scots may be drinking less. As they are the main source of data for national monitoring of drinking behaviour, it is important that survey estimates of alcohol consumption are as robust as possible. The resource is a review of data from Scotland’s routine national surveys.