The Local Government Association (LGA) warn that placing a minimum price on alcohol could potentially lead to an increase in counterfeit alcohol.
The proposal to introduce a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol is part of the government’s alcohol strategy. The strategy hopes to encourage responsible drinking and a minimum price is hoped to ‘change the culture of drinking.’
The LGA are concerned that this may instead see many people turn to cheap, fake brands of alcohol. Counterfeit alcohol can sometimes contain dangerous chemicals and public health experts have also raised similar concerns.
A spokesperson for the LGA argued that the minimum may help to discourage binge drinking, but push others into buying alcohol from the black market.
They added: “When drinking counterfeit brands you can never be sure what you are putting into your body. People who think they are getting a bargain could end up making themselves blind or even drinking themselves to death.”
So far, the strategy has only been launched in England and Wales and the minimum price has not yet been introduced. Scotland and Northern Ireland are also considering a minimum unit price for alcohol.
Counterfeit alcohol can be spotted by a number of things. Made up brands, spelling mistakes and poor quality labelling are some indicators. Counterfeit bottles of a brand can appear slightly different than normal and the bottles are not always filled up to the same level. An unusual taste or smell of nail varnish can also indicate fake booze.