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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 14:47 GMT
Pub trade launches conduct code
Tray of drinks
Pubs will be allowed to open longer from next Thursday
The drinks industry has launched its own code to help pubs, clubs, shops and bars tackle alcohol misuse.

The British Beer and Pub Association's guidance deals with issues such as drink-driving and how to avoid serving under-18s.

The government said any business which spurned the code would feel the "full force of the law" and lose its licence.

Licensing laws permitting 24-hour opening in England and Wales come into force next week.

'Clear responsibility'

The code was developed in partnership with the government.

Home Office minister Paul Goggins said: "The industry has a clear responsibility to ensure that bars, off-licenses, supermarkets and clubs are run in a way that promotes good practice."

BBPA chief executive Rob Hayward said: "We recognise that we have a role to play in addressing alcohol misuse, and this shows our commitment to working with the government to tackle these problems."

Sixteen national bodies have signed up to the code.

Conservatives are warning of "chaos" when the longer drinking hours come into force next Thursday.

Party leadership contender David Cameron, a supporter of liberalising pub hours, said it was "irresponsible" to bring in such changes shortly before Christmas.

Leadership rival David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said a previous hours extension in 1998 had caused "mayhem".

But Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said the latest act would give police extra powers in the act to combat binge drinking.

Figures produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport suggest that 70% of the 81,000 pubs in England and Wales have applied to change their existing licences.

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