Starting from 30th July 2008, off-licences in Ireland will have earlier closing times and the Irish police will have new powers to confiscate alcohol being consumed in public.
The new regulations enacted by the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 come as a result of the recommendations made by the government-commissioned Alcohol Advisory Group and aim to curb underage drinking and public disorder.
The Irish Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, said the new law would help to tackle the problem of alcohol abuse in the country.
"The Act places restrictions on the availability and visibility of alcohol and provides for more effective enforcement to deal with the consequences of alcohol abuse", said Mr Ahern.
Under the Intoxicating Liquor Act provisions, off-licences are only permitted to sell alcohol until 10 pm. The Act also includes restrictions on alcohol promotions as well as stronger penalties for retailers who are found selling alcohol to minors.
The Intoxicating Liquor Act also grants the Irish police new powers to confiscate alcohol from people aged under 18 and to seize bottles where there is a reasonable apprehension of public disorder. The Gardai also has powers to give fines for the offence of disorderly conduct and intoxication in a public place.
The new law has generally been well received, but there are concerns that more still needed to be done.