Longer pub 'happy hours' pose risk to health
Loopholes in current legislation are allowing pubs to extend 'happy hour' all night long - and putting the health of young people at risk, an alcohol safety group has warned.
With Leaving Cert celebrations certain for many tonight, students have been warned that they may push their blood alcohol level up "to a dangerous level very quickly" if they partake in shot-based promotions.
Since August 2003 it is illegal in Ireland to sell alcohol at reduced prices for a limited period during any day - however Conor Cullen of Alcohol Action Ireland pointed out that pubs are getting around this by extending the time period.
They are now pushing for the Public Health Alcohol Bill to be introduced to tighten up the sale of drink.
"Young people are very price-sensitive - they're looking to get drunk for as little money as possible," he said.
Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers said the bill had been held up by legal issues but that it was hoped it could be introduced by the end of the year.
"This will hopefully stop the problems that we will unfortunately see" tonight and "which causes havoc for the emergency services and young people themselves," he said.