I mentioned this in another thread and thought it may have been deserving of its own thread. We have a few Irish members here at D-F so I would like to hear some opinions on this.
The first rule strikes me as largely ineffective. The former closing time for off-licenses was 11.30pm. I don't see how closing them up earlier will change anything. People will buy their alcohol earlier hence they'll start drinking earlier. Is that what the government really wants?
The second rule seems fishy. The objections of local people in regards to alcohol sales in their area could result in a lot of local businesses losing money. All it takes is a few busy bodies prying in and you lose your license. I'd almost compare it to the tough restrictions on Dutch coffeeshops introduced by the Christian Right.
Segregating alcohol into separate areas in supermarkets is pointless. This seems like a needless measure that gives the illusion of action when it won't actually change matters at all. People will still know where the booze is and they'll still buy it. If anything, this rule is just a nuisance to someone who runs a supermarket.
Test purchasing is snakey but most employees check for ID anyway so it shouldn't produce too many problems (unless the gardaí choose 17 year-olds that look like they're in their 30s). SWIM still gets asked for ID on occasion and he's nearly 23.
The new powers available to the gardaí in regards to confiscating alcohol seems extremely loose. It's all down to their discretion, law enforcement discretion being something I don't have a lot of faith in. Your alcohol can be ceased if you just look young? That's fucked up.
I'm not surprised they're clamping down on drinks promotions. It seems as though the government are dead-set on removing any sort of bargains from the alcohol industry. Fully priced drinks all the time, no happy hours, no drinks on the house. Goodbye fun.