The off-trade is also included in the code

The off-trade is also included in the code

A new code to clampdown on "irresponsible" drinks promotions in Northern Ireland is set to go live tomorrow (1 September). 

The Joint Industry Code for the Responsible Promotion and Retail of Alcohol in Northern Ireland has been set-up due to concerns about binge-drinking. It will cover both the on-trade and off-trade, a spokesperson confirmed to just-drinks. 

Under the self-regulatory system, complaints can be submitted to an independent panel of experts. If upheld, the complaint will then be made public and communicated to the police and council. 

The code had a soft launch three months ago, giving licensees time to adapt to the system. 

At the launch of the code, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: “I very much welcome the opportunity to work with the drinks industry to end irresponsible drinks promotions which encourage excessive consumption of alcohol.”

Colin Neill, chief executive of the representative body Pubs of Ulster, said: "We believe irresponsible drinks promotions have no place in our industry and will provide members with on-going support and advice to ensure they do not accidently breach the code.”

Plans are also under way to introduce a minimum price on alcohol in Northern Ireland, in a joint strategy with the Republic of Ireland. Scotland is set to introduce a minimum price next year and England and Wales are expected to follow