The price of alcohol in Irish and unlicensed supermarkets is expected to rise after Christmas due to a new law.
The minimum unit price will come into effect from January 4 as part of the implementation of the Public Health Alcohol Law (2018).
Under the new rules, different alcoholic products cannot be sold for less than the minimum price set.
It doesn’t matter where the alcohol is sold, whether over the counter, in supermarkets, bars or restaurants, because the minimum price remains the same.
In Ireland, a standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol and the minimum price for a standard drink will now be € 1.
Most alcoholic drinks already exceed this threshold, especially in pubs, clubs and restaurants.
The new price will see the lowest cost of a 500ml can of lager be dropped to € 1.70, while the cheapest pint will be around € 1.98.
A 750 ml bottle of wine with an alcoholic strength of 12.5% or less will increase its price by around € 5 to € 7.40. It will cost 35c more for a wine with a higher alcohol percentage.
When it comes to spirits, many of these drinks had a higher alcohol percentage, meaning they will see the biggest price hike.
A 700ml bottle of gin or vodka sold in the supermarket will cost at least € 20.71, with that amount rising to € 22.09 for whiskey.
According to the HSE, research from 2019 shows that, on average, every person in Ireland aged 15 and over drank 10.8 liters of pure alcohol per year.
That’s the equivalent of 40 bottles of vodka, 113 bottles of wine, or 436 pints of beer.
It is hoped that the introduction of a minimum price will result in around 200 fewer alcohol-related deaths and 6,000 fewer hospitalizations per year in Ireland.
Research by the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group also found that when the minimum unit price for alcohol is introduced in Ireland, alcohol consumption is expected to drop by almost 9% overall.
Heavy drinkers should reduce their alcohol intake by 15%, while people who already drink within low-risk drinking guidelines should drink 3% less.