Minimum pricing and tough new rules for drink-driving were amongst a host of recommendations unveiled by a group of MPs and Peers this week, in response to a “national pandemic” of alcohol abuse.
The All Party Parliamentary Committee on Alcohol Misuse revealed its manifesto for 2015, which demonstrates the cost of alcohol-related incidents and calls for new measures to minimise alcohol-related harm.
Incidents ranging from drink-related crime to hospital admissions are thought to cost the UK economy as much as £21 billion annually.
In the foreword to the manifesto, Tracey Crouch, who chairs the group, said: “The facts and figures of the scale of alcohol misuse in the UK speak for themselves”.
She believes that there “must be a more thorough and full package of measures which tackles the problem more effectively and reduces the cost to people’s health of alcohol-related crime and treatment”.
The proposed new rules would see a reduction in the drink-drive limit, initially applied to drivers under the age of 21.
The group is also pushing for reform in the labelling of alcohol and for a minimum price to be applied per unit of alcohol to increase the cost of cheap drinks available in supermarkets.
The proposal document states: “In order to inform consumers about balanced risk, every alcohol label should include an evidence-based health warning”. This would include information on “nutritional, calorific and alcohol content”.
A call to strengthen the regulation of alcohol marketing is also issued in the manifesto, in order to protect children and young people.
Earlier this year an announcement was made about a change to drug-driving laws, scheduled for March 2015.
The change will make it an offence to drive while over specific limits of controlled substances.
A survey published this month by road safety charity Brake and insurance company Direct Line, found that three in every 100 drivers admit to ‘drug driving’.