Labour and Conservatives ready irresponsible drinking clampdown

Both Labour and the Conservatives will outline measures to crackdown on irresponsible drinking today (19 January).

The Government is to unveil a mandatory code that will outlaw drinks promotions such as such as all-you-can-drink offers and speed-drinking contests in a bid to combat binge drinking and related crime and disorder, which it claims costs the UK up to £13bn a year.

Other measures include requiring bar staff to demand proof of age for anyone who looks under 18 and introducing free tap water for customers.

A ban on bulk discounting of alcohol by shops and supermarkets was dropped from the code following consultation with the industry.

On trade body the British Beer and Pub Association says the Government’s code seems “lopsided and unbalanced” as it claims that 70% of all alcohol sold through supermarkets.

The British Medical Association says it supports tougher rules on promotions.

The Conservative Party is expected to unveil its own measures that are expected to include a ban on selling drinks under cost price.

The Tories are also expected to introduce propose increasing duty on super strength lagers and ciders and alcopops.

The measures follow the cross-party Health Select Committee inquiry into alcohol that called for a minimum price per unit of alcohol and tighter regulation on the marketing of alcoholic drinks.

Some of the measures contained in the mandatory code for England and Wales will be introduced as soon as April and retailers or publicans fined in breach of the code could be fined or jailed.

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