The head of the Home Office alcohol strategy unit has tried to allay fears that a new industry code of practice will cause widespread problems for pubs.
Speaking at today's National Pubwatch conference in Harrogate, Ziggy MacDonald said: "The legislation merely sets the framework for the new code of practice to allow a small number of mandatory conditions on licensed premises."
Trade groups have raised fears that a new code would costs the industry around £300m in the first year alone.
Draft proposals suggest the code will target promotions and training standards. It could also insist glass and bottles are cleared every 15 minutes and ban alcohol being sold in glasses at weekends.
But MacDonald said the code was being targeted at only the most irresponsible promotions such as 'drink as much as you want' deals.
"Whatever you might read in the press, the code will have to pass a number of tests not least to meet the objectives of the Licensing Act and it should not impose a disproportionate cost on business," he said.