A BAN on the sale of heavily discounted alcohol starts in Worcestershire this week.

From Wednesday, a new mandatory licensing condition preventing alcohol from being sold cheaper than the cost of duty on the alcohol plus VAT comes into effect in England and Wales.

Worcestershire Regulatory Services is warning it will be carrying out intelligence-led visits to local licensed premises to ensure they are complying with the new rules.

Steve Jorden, Head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said: “This new mandatory licensing condition prevents alcohol from being sold very cheap or heavily discounted, including through special offers, with the aim of reducing excessive alcohol consumption and associated alcohol-related crime and health problems.

“Indications are that that certain high strength drinks that are currently very cheap, such as white cider, will go up in price as a result of the minimum pricing, and that it will have little or no effect on the majority of alcohol sold or on prices in the ‘on trade’ such as pubs and clubs.

“Guidance is available for anyone selling alcohol to ensure that they are pricing drinks correctly, because as of Sunday any sale of alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT is likely to be an offence.”