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Northern Ireland shelves promotions

The banning of drinks promotions that encourage irresponsible drinking could soon be applied to Northern Ireland.

If Northern Irish social development minister Alex Atwood’s proposals are passed, BOGOFs and "women drink free" offers will become a thing of the past.

In a statement read out on 19 August this year, Atwood said the proposals were developed to combat health and social issues caused by irresponsible drinking.

The legislation, which will be presented in the coming weeks, would also see a minimum pricing established in all outlets, including supermarkets and off-licences, and additional power given to police in terms of shutting down drinking establishments when there is a disruption.

In addition to the ban, a penalty point system (much like the driving licence system) for licensees has been proposed, as well as more stringent ID proofs for clubs and pubs.

The proposals to establish a minimum price are in accordance with prime minister David Cameron’s recent support for local authorities introducing a minimum price for alcohol.

Marinel FitzSimons, 23.08.2010

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