Cheap drink promotions to be banned

Ministers announce plans to ban "all you can drink" offers in a bid to curb binge drinking

Pub and club promotions that encourage binge-drinking will be banned within months, ministers will announce today.

The tougher licensing conditions will mean an end to offers such as "All you can drink for £10" or "Free drinks for women under 25". Speed drinking competitions and "dentist's chairs" - where alcohol is poured directly into the mouths of customers -- will also be banned. Licensees who breach the code face fines of up to £20,000 or up to six months in jail. The government was persuaded to act by rising public concern over alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder on the streets.

The Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said: "Alcohol-related crime costs the UK billions of pounds every year and while the vast majority of retailers are responsible, a minority continue to run irresponsible promotions which fuel the excessive drinking that leads to alcohol-related crime and disorder," he said.

"These practices have a real impact on society, not to mention the lives of those who just want to enjoy a good night out.

"The Government and the industry have a duty to act, this mandatory code will allow us to take action against an issue which affects us all."

Pubs and clubs will also have to offer free tap water and check the ID of anyone who looks under 18. The first part of the code, covering the ban on promotions and drinking games, will come into effect on 6 April. The second, covering smaller measures and age checks, will come into effect on 1 October.


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