BULK BAN Everything you need to know about Ireland’s new stricter alcohol laws coming into force today
Ireland’s alcohol regulations will become tighter today.
The Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 includes three new provisions for supermarkets and off-licenses.
The Act aims to reduce the rate of consumption per capita across the country and to address the problem of alcohol abuse in Ireland.
Recent adjustments have included supermarkets being required to divide off their alcohol aisles in order to keep it out of the direct line of sight of youngsters and teenagers.
Additionally, as of this morning, stores will no longer accept alcohol-related vouchers, and popular multibuys such as “buy five bottles of wine and get one free” will no longer be accepted.
Eunan McKinney, of Alcohol Action Ireland, stated that the laws will operate as a tiny deterrent to encouraging higher use of alcohol and, as a result, will contribute to reducing alcohol damage.
“Importantly, the elimination of short-term promotions, which have been prevalent throughout the supermarket multiples, will provide some rationale for what have been extremely reckless price reductions on alcoholic beverages.”
Nicola Bardon takes a look at the upcoming modifications that will be implemented in your local shop starting today.
WHAT IS THE PUBLIC HEALTH (ALCOHOL) ACT 2018?
This Act established a variety of objectives to counteract Ireland’s high rates of alcohol usage while also lowering the amount of alcohol exposure that minors experience.
According to data from the previous year, there has been a modest decline in the amount of alcohol taken, with 11 litres consumed per capita in 2018 declining to 10.78 litres in 2019 (from 11 litres in 2018). (from 11 litres in 2018).
Alcohol is linked to over 2,790 deaths each year, and the bill, introduced in December 2015 and signed into law in October 2018, aimed to address the issue.
“Alcohol is not an ordinary supermarket product,” stated Health Minister Simon Harris in December 2018 in response to the recent developments. The restrictions accord with the objectives of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018, which is to limit alcohol use and the damages caused by alcohol misuse.
“Alcohol is a drug with actual dangers and damages and as such, should not be promoted.”
WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE:
Most people have noticed the recent modifications in supermarkets, with the booze aisle now behind 1.2m walls to protect the children.
Alcohol advertising was outlawed in 2019 on public transportation, stations, and within 200 metres of schools and creches, with the exception of films rated 18.
Today’s changes are:
Many wine aficionados appreciate retailers offering ‘Buy six bottles of wine for €50′ deals. Bulk purchase is no longer allowed to be discounted, therefore anyone buying six bottles will have to pay full price. It also means that deals like ‘buy three get 25% off will be forbidden.
Individual item discounts will still be allowed, so retailers can discount a single bottle of wine.
Often stores launch short-term promotions with discounts on specific items. The new rules prohibit short-term price reductions, so any discounts must last at least three days.
When buying alcohol in Tesco, Dunnes, and other stores, customers often collect loyalty points. Now, neither the points nor the coupons can be used to buy alcohol. Off-licences like O’Briens have discontinued their loyalty points programme, which ended yesterday.
WHAT ELSE IS PLANNED:
Later this year, alcohol will be banned from sports venues and events like Aviva and Croke Park. The same goes for events aimed at a younger demographic.
In order to prohibit people from driving over the border, the Government wants to enforce the Minimum Unit Price on alcohol sales.
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