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News story

Consultation launched to curb irresponsible drinking

Wednesday, November 28 2012

Binge Drinking

As part of wider changes tackling irresponsible drinking, the Home Office today announced a consultation on a range of measures to reduce excessive alcohol consumption.

Previous changes rebalanced the Licensing Act in favour of local communities so that anyone can object to licensing applications.

A late night levy was also introduced – meaning businesses that sell alcohol late at night contribute towards the cost of policing.

Today the Home Office has also launched a 10-week consultation on five possible actions to tackle the problems associated with cheap drink:

  • introducing a ban on multi-buy alcohol promotions
  • reviewing the mandatory licensing conditions
  • introducing a minimum unit price of 45p
  • introducing a new health-related objective for alcohol licensing
  • cutting red tape for businesses, within the alcoholic drinks industry, who behave responsibly

Policing Minister Damian Green said:

"These measures are not about stopping responsible drinking but designed to tackle the minority who cause alcohol-related crime and disorder in our local communities. The evidence is clear - the availability of cheap alcohol contributes to harmful levels of drinking. It can't be right that it is possible to purchase a can of beer for as little as 20p."

It is estimated that irresponsible drinking costs the taxpayer £21 billion a year. There were nearly a million alcohol-related violent crimes and 1.2 million alcohol-related hospital admissions last year alone.

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