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Public Health (Alcohol) 2015

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Postby Saruman » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:22 pm

Hmmm never looked at it that way before. That doesn't sound good.
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Postby Ciderhead » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:40 pm

nigel_c wrote:Article in the mirror claiming loophole.
This has come up again and again but it's never been cleared up. At least that I know of.

http://www.irishmirror.ie/whats-on/food ... ws-5129001


He was on here 12 months ago claiming his process was legal when it clearly wasn't and he was going to verify with Revenue what the status was.
Splashing across tabloids and 2 fingered salute probably not the best way to achieve that approval imho.

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I'm sure the will be an ammendment to cover commercial samples.
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Postby oblivious » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:02 pm

That is worrying, John.
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Postby sbillings » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:16 am

Ciderhead wrote:I'm sure the will be an ammendment to cover commercial samples.


I don't see why you are sure about that. Have you heard anyone in power mentioning such an amendment?

I would imagine this will be dealt with like much of Irish law; through the magic of selective enforcement. As long as no one makes a hooha about it and no one takes the piss, samples etc. will be quietly ignored even if they are technically illegal.
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Postby TheBeerNut » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:10 pm

There are enough vested interests to fight for this if it becomes a problem. But if they're putting in wording to allow it, I think it's important that we see it. Wording that allows for commercial samples and in-store tasting may not allow for homebrew meets or festival tasters, say.

I think the root problem is that this draft bill is a hodge-podge of tobacco and sunbed laws that haven't really been thought through when applied to alcohol.
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Postby Paz-CCFC » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:53 pm

TheBeerNut wrote:So that's the end of your free samples of chablis in Donnybrook Fair, right? No more meet-the-brewer nights or homebrew meetings either. The end of taste-before-you-buy at the bar. Am I reading this right, or is there a reason everyone else isn't screaming?


Very good spot. "Supply" is interpreted in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 as including "giving without payment". At the lack of a definition in this Bill (or other alcohol legislation), the MDA would probably be a good reference point for any judge.

It's most likely done to prevent a business from, say, offering one beer for above the minimum price and then offering a second one free, to evade the law. If it were applied commercially and non-commercially alike, it would also technically make it illegal to give a glass of wine or beer to your friends.

It's likely that the Oireachtas never intended it to extend to these kinds of things. In reality, giving a glass of beer to your friends will highly unlikely see a prosecution. But, the free sample tasting etc. that you mention, I wouldn't be so sure about their safety.

Also, see section 5:

It shall be an offence for a person to–
(a) Manufacture
(f) Distribute free of charge, or
(g) Supply for any of those purposes (whether or not for profit),

any alcohol product container that does not bear:

(a) the quantity in grams of alcohol;
(b) energy value;
(c) a warning about the danger of consuming alcohol
(d) a warning about the danger of consuming alcohol when pregnant.


So, if you give a non-labelled bottle of homebrew to your friend, you'll be guilty of an offence. The (first time) penalty for which is a maximum of 6 months in prison or a €4,000 fine or both.
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Postby CDow » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:58 pm

How does this differ from the Scottish version which is undergoing a review in Europe?

If the Scottish version is rejected does the Irish version fail also?
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Postby TheBeerNut » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:00 pm

Paz-CCFC wrote:So, if you give a non-labelled bottle of homebrew to your friend, you'll be guilty of an offence.
That's true, but it's unenforceable so it doesn't really matter. But as you say, where a commercial licence-holder is involved, there appears to be a real problem.
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Postby TheBeerNut » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:05 pm

CDow wrote:How does this differ from the Scottish version which is undergoing a review in Europe?
I haven't compared.

CDow wrote:If the Scottish version is rejected does the Irish version fail also?
Not automatically AFAIK, it would have to be challenged. The problem here is that the Scottish one has a powerful opponent in the spirits industry, who make real money from their £8 bottles of gin and whisky. The Irish one seems to have hit a very sweet spot where big beer, big pub, independent traders and the health taliban are all happy with it. Which is not good for li'l ol' us.
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Postby Paz-CCFC » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:29 pm

TheBeerNut wrote:That's true, but it's unenforceable so it doesn't really matter. But as you say, where a commercial licence-holder is involved, there appears to be a real problem.


Even still, it's fairly unsettling that something so innocent could be illegal. It's reminiscent of Chief Wiggum waiting for Homer to kick a can for the 5th time, to arrest him for illegal transportation of litter.

It just shows it to be a lazily drafted and badly worded bill.


The Scottish is much shorter, as it doesn't deal with things like labelling. It also gives a better way than ours to deal with alcohol being bundled in with other products to evade the law:

Where alcohol is supplied together with other products or services for a single
price, sub-paragraph (1) applies as if the alcohol were supplied on its own for
that price


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2012/ ... 004_en.pdf


A challenge would have to start anew here, even if the Scottish case were successful. So, you'd still have to have a group with the financial backing to take it to the High Court, Supreme Court (the big lobby groups probably would appeal) and possibly the ECJ.
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Postby Saruman » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:36 pm

To put it plainly, if the letter of the new law was followed, Guinness would not be able to invite media people to the launch of a new beer and give them samples.

Hell, even the Guinness tour would not be allowed to give out a free Guinness.
Airport duty free and off licences could not give out free samples.

There would be thousands of business at risk, may of whom are big players with massive backing.

I would think they would protect their own interests.

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Postby oblivious » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:47 pm

It would be also be a big kick in the googlies for aspiring brewery tours
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Postby TheBeerNut » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:48 pm

That's certainly how it looks at this stage. But the other thing I noticed is that implementation of this has a long way to go. Focus groups for packaging design is mentioned, and co-ordination with the same law in the North? That's something that takes two seconds to say at a policy meeting, but actually doing it?
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Postby phoenix » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:11 pm

The following seems to be pertinent:

(8) The requirements of this Bill shall only apply to alcohol products for sale in the State.

...

Subhead (8) indicates that the provisions of the Bill relate to alcohol products which are
placed on the market for sale
within Ireland only. Alcohol products for export are not
covered by this Bill. Products that are purchased by a person in another jurisdiction for
his/her personal use are not covered by this Bill. This subhead is modelled on section 7
(12) of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014.


This would indicate that some or all of the bill would not apply to alcohol products which are not for sale - homebrew, tasters etc.
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Postby oblivious » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:21 pm

phoenix wrote:The following seems to be pertinent:

(8) The requirements of this Bill shall only apply to alcohol products for sale in the State.


Head 6 1 (A)

"Sell or supply alcohol products on the licensed premises at a price that is below
the minimum price of that product concerned"


Sale and supply appear to be covered
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