3. Happy hours

The Irish Government first passed legislation in 2003 to make ‘happy hours’ illegal. Scotland enacted similar legislation in 2005.

In the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018, the Irish Oireachtas amended the 2003 legislation to prohibit a person from selling or supplying, or causing to be sold or supplied, an alcohol product during a limited period at a price less than that being charged for the alcohol product on the day before the commencement of the limited period.

In Scotland, the law requires that alcohol prices for any particular product are required to stay the same for a period of 72 hours.

The rationale for this length of time was that it would be uneconomic for premises to maintain lower prices for the 3-day period.

In 2008, Finland enacted legislation to require the price to remain the same for at least two months. Mass media advertising for short-term discount prices or happy hours was also prohibited. However, the industry responded by having price discounts that extended beyond two months.