Shops and pubs could be banned from selling cheap alcohol in a radical step to tackle Britain’s binge-drinking problem. While the Government has so far refused to back setting a minimum price for alcoholic drinks, councils are planning to take action through a by-law. They are investigating whether licensed retailers could be forced to charge a minimum of 50p per unit of alcohol, putting an end to cut-price deals blamed for drink-fuelled disorder and health problems. It would mean drinkers paying at least £4.50 for a bottle of wine, £6 for a six-pack of lager and £14 for a 700ml bottle of whisky. Doctors have long called for such action, which they say could save more than 3,000 lives a year. But ministers drawing up plans to tackle cheap alcohol sales are so far understood to have ruled out minimum pricing. Now, however, the ten councils which make up Greater Manchester are looking into introducing their own price restrictions in a move being watched closely by other authorities. Under the plans, a by-law would be passed requiring pubs, restaurants, supermarkets and off-licences to price alcoholic drinks based on the number of units they contain. Source – Daily Mail 3/08/2010.