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The cost of an alcoholic drink is Wales will soon become more expensive as the country seeks to adopt a Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol. 

The Welsh Government has announced that the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Act 2018 will come into force early 2020.  The Act will implement a minimum unit price of 50p for alcohol sold in Wales. 

How the price of alcohol will be calculated

If you hold a premises licence or is the designated premises supervisor (DPS), you need to understand what the Act means for you. 

Guidance issued by the Welsh Government outlines how how to calculate the minimum price for an alcoholic drink once the Act is in force. 

The Act includes a formula for how the applicable minimum price must be calculated.  This formula is made up of the minimum unit price (to be specified in regulations), the percentage strength of the alcohol and its volume.  

MUP (£0.5) x Strength (%) x Volume (litres) = minimum price at which it can be sold. 

If the minimum price is set at 50 pence, the minimum price for a 70cl bottle of vodka  of 40% ABV strength would be: 

0.5 (MUP) x 40 (Strength) x 0.7 (Volume): 0.5 X 40 X 0.7 = £14.00

 The minimum price for this bottle of vodka would be £14.00.

Stephen McCaffrey

Regulatory defence barrister specialising in alcohol and entertainment licensing law, appeals and defence.

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