Working to reduce alcohol harm

Public Health (Alcohol) Bill: Price-based promotions

Price-based promotions are used extensively in Ireland to attract customers, with young people particularly price-sensitive and often targeted by these promotions.

These can range from promotions such as reduced drinks prices on certain nights for students or those targeted at other groups, as well as price-based promotions which extend for certain periods of time.

Offers that promote reduced prices depending on the number of drinks purchased, i.e. quantity discounts, are also commonplace in the on and off-trades.

Price-based drinks promotions like these are often aimed at young people and encourage the type of harmful binge drinking that is such a threat to their health and wellbeing.

The primary purpose of regulating price-based promotions is to reduce the health harms from alcohol, but it can also have a positive impact on alcohol-fuelled crime, such as public order offences.

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill allows the Minister for Health to make regulations for prohibiting or restricting the:

  • Selling or supplying alcohol products free of charge or at a reduced price to a particular category of people.
  • Selling or supplying alcohol products during a limited period (three days or less) at a price less than was being charged for those same products the day before the offer began.
  • Selling or supplying alcohol products free of charge or at a reduced price to someone because they have bought a certain quantity of alcohol products or any other product or service.
  • Promoting a business or event in a way that it intended or likely to cause people to drink in a harmful manner.

The Bill states that the provisions regarding price-based promotions also include the award, directly or indirectly, of bonus points, loyalty card points or similar benefit for purchasing alcohol products, which can be used to obtain alcohol products or other products or services free of charge or at a reduced price.

Similarly, these schemes where ’points’ etc are awarded for the purchase of other products or services cannot then be used to obtain alcohol products free of charge or at reduced prices.

The legislation will be monitored and enforced by Environmental Health Officers.

Learn more about the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill by following this link.