The drinks industry has been accused of turning its back on a voluntary code which bans happy hour deals and irresponsible drinks promotions. The recent rejection of a voluntary code by the British Beer and Pub Association – on the grounds it could contravene European competition laws – is reported on in this morning's Guardian newspaper. The paper suggests the move could, in its words; “trigger an intensification of the alcohol price war in the Britain's city centres this summer, despite deep concerns about alcohol abuse.” It also quotes Chris Allison, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, as saying: “Sadly the trade repeatedly shows that it cannot be relied upon to consistently act in a responsible way. "It is now time for the government to take some action against the trade and to legislate to ensure that the licensing trade always acts responsibly." Thousands of pubs and bars have, as a condition of their licences, adhered to the code on promotions, drawn up by trade body the British Beer and Pub Association. The BBPA's code outlawed promotions that encourage or reward drinking large quantities of alcohol in single sessions, deals that give incentives for drinking fast, entry fees that are linked to unlimited amounts of alcohol, "women drink free" promotions, and reward schemes that are only redeemable over a short period of time. But the BBPA, whose members own more than half of Britain's 57,000 pubs, has withdrawn the code, as reported by M&C Report claiming new legal opinions have emerged suggesting such guidance is in breach of European competition law. The Guardian also reports that some operators outside the BBPA have already begun slashing prices. It says that Luminar, Britain's biggest nightclub operator, started issuing fliers advertising new midweek deals on alcohol at many of its clubs. Luminar's founder and chief executive, Steve Thomas, said he had been forced to reduce prices because rivals were taking trade from him. In Leeds, Luminar's Oceana club offered all drinks for 80p for the first time last Thursday night, with an 80p admission. "People's perception of value around alcohol has changed," said Thomas. "There's a highly competitive discounting arena in Leeds. We warned the authorities that if we lose volume we'll respond. The point about a nightclub is that if you are half full, you're less than half full the next week. No one likes an empty nightclub. "We are just testing the market – we could have done this across the estate." Last night another Luminar club, Envy in Wrexham, was hosting a night called "Sin on Sunday". Again the main attraction in promotional fliers was "all drinks 80p - all night". Similar deals are offered at many of Luminar's 108 clubs. A 90p-a-drink offer at Luminar's Life club in Wellingborough is said to have boosted Thursday night admissions from less than 250 to more than 800.