Adulterated or watered-down alcohol

Adulterated alcohol is alcohol that has been tampered with in some way. This could be purchased by consumers through a business – such as in a pub or nightclub, and is most commonly associated with spirits (for example vodka, gin etc.).

Adulterated alcohol could mean that the drink is diluted with water, and as a result a drink that was advertised as containing 40% alcohol may actually only contain 20%.

It could also mean that the alcoholic drink has been completely replaced with a poorer quality or cheaper brand/version of the same drink. 

What should you do if you think you have been sold adulterated alcohol?

It is illegal for a business to provide false or misleading information about a product, including its content or its characteristics.

If you think you have been sold adulterated alcohol, you should contact us. Under the Consumer Protection Act 2007 we can take action, where appropriate, against businesses we have found to mislead consumers.

If you believe the alcohol you have purchased is counterfeit (illegally produced in unlicensed distilleries or in a private home), you should contact the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. You should also contact the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, as the counterfeit alcohol may be unsafe to drink.


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