New Year partygoers are being warned about cheap and dangerous fake alcohol.

Some fake bottles of vodka are said to contain industrial strength levels of alcohol which can lead to vomiting, permanent blindness, kidney or liver problems, and in extreme cases, death.

Councils across the country have already seized hundreds of bottles of counterfeit alcohol but it is believed there could be some rogue retailers still operating illegally.

The warning from the Local Government Association, which represents councils across England and Wales, comes as people are stocking up on alcohol and getting ready for the New Year celebrations.

Signs of fake alcohol include unfamiliar brand names, crooked labels, spelling mistakes, different fill levels, sediment in the liquid which should not be present, and very prices which are too good to be true.

Fraudsters can undercut the prices of legitimate alcohol because they don't pay tax.

People being served vodka in pubs and clubs should also be aware that fake vodka will often smell of nail varnish.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the the Local Government Association's safer and stronger communities board, said: “It’s appalling that rogue traders selling illegal alcohol are willing to play roulette with the health and wellbeing of their customers by prioritising quick profits above safety.

"We want people to enjoy their New Year’s Eve celebrations, but anyone buying alcohol needs to look out for signs it could be fake because it could leave them seriously ill and, in extreme cases, cost them their life.

“People are advised to only buy alcohol from reputable outlets and be wary of any items being sold at suspiciously cheap prices, as they could be counterfeit.

“Councils target businesses selling fake alcohol all year round, but generally step up operations in the run-up to the festive period when rogue sellers often seek to exploit demand.

“Anyone selling illegal alcohol should think twice about stocking these dangerous drinks as we will always seek to prosecute irresponsible traders and encourage the public to report any suspicious business activities.

“Counterfeit alcohol is not only a serious danger to health, it harms legitimate traders and threatens livelihoods, with the counterfeit market funding organised criminal gangs.”

Toxic ingredients found in fake alcohol often include isopropanol - more commonly found in antifreeze, lotions and cosmetics.

Other substances include ethyl acetate, which is normally found in glues, nail polish removers and cigarettes, and can lead to organ damage.

Acetaldehyde, which occurs naturally in alcoholic beverages, is potentially cancerous if found in too high a volume.

Business owners selling illegal alcohol could lose their licence, be fined up to £5,000 and be jailed for up to 10 years.

Anyone who thinks they have had fake alcohol should seek medical advice. The incident should also be reported to the local environmental health officer, by calling Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06, or the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000