Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Monday, 3 December 2012

Irresponsible drinks promotions

Two hundred and fifty-two people died in Northern Ireland in 2011 as a direct result of alcohol abuse, the Social Development Minister said, on 3 December 2012.

Nelson McCausland brought the Licensing (Irresponsible Drinks Promotions) Regulations (NI) and the Registration of Clubs (Irresponsible Drinks Promotions) Regulations (NI) 2012 to the house.

He explained that he had decided to introduce a ban on fixed-price offers, such as: "All you can drink for £20".

A proposal to ban multiple drink promotions would not be pursued, the minister added.

Social Development Committee Chairman Alex Maskey of Sinn Fein said the committee backed the regulations, although some members had voiced concerns about the dangers of unnecessary legislation.

Mr Maskey said MLAs would be aware of the saying "When the drink's in, the wit's out", but binge drinking had effects that went well beyond this.

The UUP's Michael Copeland also supported the regulations.

He spoke of the dangers of "countless and endless shots of vodka at under £1 a shot".

Mr Copeland also drew attention to the practice of selling quart jugs of cocktails with no indication of the alcoholic content.

The regulations were passed unopposed, along with a separate set extending the ban to licensed clubs.

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