Booze bill will see drink ads banned and Easter opening

editorial image

A draft booze bill under consideration by Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey paves the way for pubs to open late on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday, should it be passed.

The bill also proposes allowing certain publicans open later up to 12 times a year and banning booze advertising in off licences and supermarkets.

“In July 2014, the Executive agreed to the drafting of a Bill to introduce changes to liquor licensing law,” said Mr Storey.

“The proposed changes include restrictions on the advertising of alcohol in supermarkets and off sales premises; introduction of an occasional additional late opening hour for certain licensed premises on up to 12 occasions per year; modest changes to the Easter opening hours for public houses, with normal opening hours applying on the Thursday and Saturday before Easter; the alignment of the alcohol and entertainment licensing systems to make enforcement of the law on late opening easier for the police; formal approval for codes of practice on the responsible sale of alcohol; and minor changes to the law affecting private members clubs.

“A Bill has been drafted and I am still considering the content of the draft Bill.”