A BAN on cheap alcohol will come into force on Sunday (April 6) as part of Government efforts to curb binge drinking.

From now on a bottle of 37.5% vodka will have a minimum price of £8.89 and a bottle of 12.5% wine will be no less than £2.41.

The move comes after it was found deep discounting resulted in cans of lager being sold more cheaply than water in some supermarkets.

Now stores are barred from selling alcohol at below cost price under the new licensing restrictions. Ministers say the move will reduce ‘pre-loading’ - when people drink large amounts of cheap alcohol before going on a night out – and lead to a drop in trips to A&E and alcohol-related crime such as anti-social behaviour.

Under the restrictions, a floor price is set at the duty payable on an alcoholic drink plus VAT.

For example, a 500ml can of 6% beer will have a minimum price of 68p, 500ml of 8.49% still cider will be no less than 36p and a one-litre bottle of 70% spirit will not be priced under £23.71.

A spokesman for Sedgemoor District Council said: “If anyone has concerns that premises within Sedgemoor are not complying with these new minimum prices, they should contact our Licensing team by calling 0845 408 2546 or 01278-435435.

“We will then investigate and work with Avon and Somerset Constabulary to assess what action, if any, is required. Ultimately breaking this law could result in prosecution and a review of the licence.”