Ban on happy hours draws closer

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A ban on happy hours and all-you-can-drink promotions in Northern Ireland has moved a step closer as proposed laws went to public consultation.

Social Development Minister Alex Attwood has already received the backing of the Stormont Executive for the crackdown on the cheap alcohol sales pitches in bars and supermarkets.

Drink discounts for students and promotions targeting other specific groups – such as ladies’ nights – will also be outlawed under the proposals.

During the eight-week consultation people will have the opportunity to give their opinion on the planned restrictions.

Mr Attwood hopes to bring the legislation before the Assembly in January next year.

The minister said he was keenly aware of the undesirable health and social consequences of harmful drinking.

“Irresponsible drinks promotions encourage people to drink more than they normally would, the consequences of which can lead to damaging effects on society,” he said.

“My proposals will tackle pubs, clubs, supermarkets and other outlets which sell alcohol in an irresponsible manner.

“I am determined that this consultation process will be an important step towards helping combat alcohol abuse and related harm in Northern Ireland.”

Source: The Irish Independent / Press Association , 11/10/10