Ban on using supermarket loyalty points to buy booze and new restrictions on alcohol discounts

New rules may also impact pubs and restaurants

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

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New rules on booze sales come into force this week

Supermarket loyalty cards cannot be used to buy alcohol while short-term discounts and promotions on booze are also banned, from this week onwards.

From Monday, January 11 regulations under the Public Health (Alcohol) Act come into force.

They restrict the ability of businesses to promote alcohol products at reduced prices and/or award loyalty points for the purchase of alcohol products. Loyalty card points cannot be awarded or used to buy alcohol products.

It will be illegal to sell alcohol at a reduced price or free of charge to any person who buys any other product. Pubs and restaurants who offer a free or reduced-price drink with food may also be affected.

It will be illegal to run reduced price promotions in respect of the sale of alcohol products for 3 days or less.

Retailers and businesses who break the new rules can be fined up to €250,000 fine or face a prison term depending upon the severity of the breach.

The names of those who break the new laws will be kept on record and may be used in determining if a licence to sell alcohol is renewed. 

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe signed the new rules into law on January 9.