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Government to introduce restrictions on alcohol sales and promotions

01 December 2008 by
Government to introduce restrictions on alcohol sales and promotions

The Government has confirmed that it will introduce mandatory restrictions on the sale and promotion of alcohol, including a ban on happy hours and all-you-can drink offers.

The mandatory code - which follows a Government commissioned report in the summer which claimed the industry's voluntary code had failed - forms part of new legislation to be announced in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday.

However, ministers have rejected proposals - supported by supermarkets - to introduce a minimum price for alcohol to stop binge drinking, according to reports.

Speaking on the BBC yesterday, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said the news measures would be targeted at stopping certain promotions.

"We will now bring forward proposals for mandatory conditions on everybody - the on-trade, the off-trade, off licences, all pubs and bars, supermarkets - who sells alcohol to stop some of those most irresponsible promotions," she said.

"The idea that you pay a set price and drink as much as you can for the evening; the idea that if you're a woman and you go into a bar you get to drink free; the idea that you might be running games or promotions that actually encourage people drinking.

"And other things like making sure smaller glasses are available alongside larger ones," Smith added.

The pub industry has backed proposals to ban offers such as happy hours, but has warned that new legislation would just create unnecessary red-tape as current licensing regulations already cover promotions.

BBPA hits out at Government's alcohol promotion proposals>>
Local authorities can now ban happy hours in problem pubs>>
MPs call for ban on pub happy hours and cheap supermarket booze>>
Pubs face legislation on price promotions>>

Are pubs facing new laws as voluntary code fails?>>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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