Tough new drinks code to take effect on April 6

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Free tap water, United kingdom

Licensees face a maximum fine of £20,000 or six months in prison if they fall foul of the government's controversial new mandatory code of practice....

Licensees face a maximum fine of £20,000 or six months in prison if they fall foul of the government's controversial new mandatory code of practice.

The planned code, which is heavily focussed on the on-trade, includes a ban on "irresponsible" promotions and drinking games, a condition that pubs must offer free tap water and that anyone who looks under-18 must be asked for ID.

It will also become law for pubs to offer a 125ml measure of wine and a 25ml or 35ml spirit measure.

However, the plans for the code still have to be approved by Parliament before they become law.

The code is expected to come into force in two stages this year. The first will take effect on April 6 and cover promotions and the free tap water offer. And the second will come in on October 1, covering the smaller wine and spirit measures and age checks.

In explaining the plans, Home Secretary Alan Johnson, said: "Alcohol-related crime costs the UK billions of pounds every year and while the vast majority of retailers are responsible, a minority continue to run irresponsible promotions."

The Conservative Party is also expected to reinforce its plans to crack down on alcohol-related problems today.

These include a promise of extra taxes on late-night opening and super-strength drinks, and a ban on below-cost selling of alcohol.

Related topics: Legislation

Property of the week

Hawthorne

£ 1,750 - Tenancy

Could you run this Warrington pub? The Hawthorne is a thriving community sports pub in Warrington, showing live sport each day, along with live music every...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more