Mixed reactions to Government Alcohol Strategy

Napthens - March 27th 2012

There was some interesting reading in the Government Alcohol Strategy which was released last week.

The proposal to introduce a minimum price on alcohol (rumoured to be 40 pence per unit) has grabbed the most headlines out of the Government's measures to ""tackle the scourge of violence caused by binge drinking".

However, the proposal has split opinion in the trade with some saying it will be too low a price to make any real difference to anyone. Others are arguing that it will move people away from pre-loading into the more supervised and responsible environment of the pub and some are simply saying that price has absolutely no effect at all on consumption.

There have also been issues raised as to whether the introduction of this minimum pricing is illegal because it may well breach EU law.

The Alcohol Strategy can be viewed in its entirety, but some of the key proposals include:

  • Introducing a minimum price per unit of alcohol, which is expected to be around 40p
  • A review of the Mandatory Code to ensure that targetted issues (such as irresponsible drinks promotions) are being sufficiently addressed
  • Introduction of the "Late Night Levy" in in October 2012
  • The introduction of "sobriety" schemes to try to reduce alcohol-related offending
  • Obliging local authorities to provide more information relating to applications on-line
  • A consultation on the banning of multi-buy promotions in the off-trade
  • Providing the on-trade with more powers to try to prevent serving alcohol to people who are drunk
  • Providing more powers to locally control the density of licensed premises