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Drinking Laws reform - What, if anything, is needed? watch

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    Panaroma this evening tackled the issue of the rise in binge drinking, with its distasteful consequences, namely crime, violence, and health consequences from passing out to death. With statistics including up to 70,000 instances of alcohol-related violence a week, I think it's evident the status-quo is undesirable and steps should be taken to alter it.

    The government has recognised this, and is launching a raft of initiatives to reduce the problem. However, it has stopped short of either increasing tax on alcohol, or placing any binding restrictions on either the manufacturers of alcoholic drinks or the various vendors which sell them. It has also failed to force these two groups to pay for the huge burden they place upon Britain's emergency services. Given that the profit margins of the drinks industry remain sufficient for its continued expansion - and we can all see this occurring in the shape of new bars and clubs - do you think the government has taken the easy way out from a political viewpoint, and placed the interests of two very powerful business groups in front of the interests of its people?

    Which measures do you think would be effective in reducing the quantity alcohol related crime? How great a sacrifice in terms of increased cost of a night out do you think is worth paying for achieving safer town centres?
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    A limit on the number of drinks that can be purchased at one time, also stricter licensing.
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    Increasing taxes on alcohol probably wouldn't hit the industry too hard as I reckon they'd be able to pass most of the burden onto the consumers.
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    (Original post by kildare)
    Increasing taxes on alcohol probably wouldn't hit the industry too hard as I reckon they'd be able to pass most of the burden onto the consumers.

    But I think alot of binge drinking is blamed on £1 drinks promotions etc.
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    Two main ideas that I can think of are as follows:

    1.
    Two drinks per person at any one time. This will put an end to people buying several shorts with their pints which creates half the problem. It may mean more queing at the bar but is a small price to pay if it works.

    2.
    Have a "cooling off period" where alcohol cannot be served, this has been implemented in my town (Hull) where the police forced pubs to close for a couple of hours on bank holiday to allow people time to sober up. Closing pubs would be inpractical however perhaps banning the sale of alcohol between 11 and 12pm would allow people to sober up.
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    (Original post by Mark_KK)
    Two main ideas that I can think of are as follows:

    1.
    Two drinks per person at any one time. This will put an end to people buying several shorts with their pints which creates half the problem. It may mean more queing at the bar but is a small price to pay if it works.

    2.
    Have a "cooling off period" where alcohol cannot be served, this has been implemented in my town (Hull) where the police forced pubs to close for a couple of hours on bank holiday to allow people time to sober up. Closing pubs would be inpractical however perhaps banning the sale of alcohol between 11 and 12pm would allow people to sober up.
    My parents told me that when they were teens/twenties the pubs closed each day at 3 and re-opened at 5pm.
    On Sundays they were open from noon to 2 pm and then 7 pm till 10.30.
    There are still pubs in country areas that close at 3 pm on Sundays and they have no problems with belligerent boozers.
    I think that restricting opening hours rather than opening them up is a more sensible idea as having all day opening seems to have created a problem that wasn't there before.
    Another thing is the availability of 'alchopops' on supermarket shelves. Many early teens get hold of them and tank themselves up before they even go out. They then maraud around the streets creating trouble.
    I also believe that publicans should be held responsible for the vandalism/violence that results from them allowing their customers to get 'off their heads' in their pubs. This would be difficult to administer if one was doing it on an incident near the nearest pub basis. Rather, publicans pay an extra tax on their rates for the cost of crime prevention resulting from drunkenness - to be rebated if there are no costs incurred during a relevant period due to their effective monitoring of their customers drinking.
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    But I think alot of binge drinking is blamed on £1 drinks promotions etc.
    yeah, i agree with that. Bars round my area sell alcopops for 66p. I think that the pricing regulation should be stricter, and bars should try and be more sensible when selling drinks. But its not in there interest to loose money, so that will never happen unfortunately.

    I think we should educate people more as to the pitfalls of drinking, and how it isn't as "cool" as most young people think. Stoping people from binging/getting addicted earlier would help stem the problem.
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    I think that people need to learn how to drink responsably (from a younger age), and be shown other ways of relaxing and dealing with stress.

    My flat mate has a novel take on the subject. He recons people need to simply stop beings A-holes, wether they are drunk or not.
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    (Original post by Uncledougsie)
    I think that people need to learn how to drink responsably (from a younger age), and be shown other ways of relaxing and dealing with stress.

    My flat mate has a novel take on the subject. He recons people need to simply stop beings A-holes, wether they are drunk or not.
    Erm... Trusting people to not get lary/paraletic is not enough. We're beyond that.
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    I'm willing to bet that a significant number of peopel would goon to do drugs if harsher drinking lwas were enforced. Cocaine, despite being prohibitively expensive, is becoming more and more popular for people on a night out. Ecstasy too. I've heard people say " might as well pay a fiver for a couple of pills than 40 quid on booze" All this does is shift the problem elsewhere.

    Some promotions do encourage binge drinking, obviously. Free drinks before midnight and such, mean people throwing up all over the place.

    Does anyone know how this licensing thing works? I know of clubs that close at 7 in the morning, and the bar closes just a few hours before. That's still later than many normal bars and clubs.
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    I think drinking is bad. It costs the nhs £billions and almost everyone who has ever been drunk has had a bad experience as a result. Whether it's falling over and injuring yourself, being very ill/sick, fighting, cheating, losing friends, offending people, or something a lot worse... A drink or two is usually harmless but I definitely think there should be a set limit because people don't seem to be able to restrain themselves.
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    (Original post by Uncledougsie)
    My flat mate has a novel take on the subject. He recons people need to simply stop beings A-holes, wether they are drunk or not.
    When people are sober they're ashamed of being ********s; when they're drunk they're proud of it. Restrict the number of places that sell alcohol. It is actually illegal to sell alcohol to someone who is intoxicated so prosecute people who do. Install grying out centres in police stations- just lock em in a cell and spray them with cold water.
    There is a general culture of heavy drinking in Britain. in the middle ages the Scots and english were notorious. The British always were binge drinkers- it's just they binmge more often now.
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    Going out in Bath (on a Saturday) and out at home has made me realise how far the drinking problem has spread.
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    I thought the comment by one of the last guys on this episode was quite amusing. He said something like, "...it's our culture to have 10 pints, grab some chips, feel sick, have a punch up and get your leg over. Not necessarily in that order".

    I know I was brought up with alcohol at a very early age, young as 3 I think (had wine diluted down etc) and I really don't see the point in binge drinking, sure it can be great being 'tipsy' but go beyond that and the next day won't be too good.

    One thing for sure, I think, is that we can't change our problem overnight.

    How's the situation over in Germany?
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    (Original post by Bigcnee)
    Going out in Bath (on a Saturday) and out at home has made me realise how far the drinking problem has spread.
    what is the difference? bath is not espically bad, there are a few idiots but you find that in every city
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    Speaking from a young teenager's point-of view I think the drinking ages should be changed. At the moment most of the stuff we drink is vodka and spirits because it's easy to get drunk on, and seeing as we can't drink socially at a pub we might as well get drunk quickly before going out.
    I think if the age for low alcohol drinks should be reduced to 14 or 15. This would be low-alcohol beer, cider, and possible alcopops if the alcohol content was reduced. Wine and drinks at about 15% at 18 and then spirits at 21. Personally I think this would reduce the amount of binge drinking among young teenagers, 15/16 year olds because I think people are more likely to drink what they can legally. I know I would rather drink a beer socially in the pub that get very drunk quickly on vodka if I knew drinking the beer was legal. Another factor is that when you havn't been drinking for long you don't know how much you can handle resulting in teengagers drinking large amount of spirits without realising how drunk they will get in a few minutes.
    It wouldn't solve the problem totally but it is just my idea to tackle under-age binge drinking.
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    How's the situation over in Germany?
    Well, you're legally allowed to buy beer and wine from 16 and go into pubs and clubs until midnight, but you have to be 18 to buy "hard alcohol". Germany doesn't really have as much of a binge drinking culture, because you grow into it more gradually. Also, there are more cafes with table service, etc. where you can go - and it wouldn't really look very good to be sick over the table in those places.

    Opening hours are longer so you don't have to get tanked up so quickly - and people leave gradually rather than being thrown put on the street at 11/1/2/etc and getting into fights due to massive drunk and frustrated crowds. Possibly longer opening hours would give people a more relaxed attitude towards drinking (I mean this in a positive sense: feeling that they can drink rather than that they have to drink just for the sake of getting drunk) - however, this would be a slow process of cultural adjustment that would take years and probably even one or two generations (children would gradually grow up with a different attitude towards alcohol!!!)

    On the other hand, I do have to say that "alcopops" are getting more and more of a problem as they're being bought by 12 year olds. And yes, there are people who participate in binge drinking
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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    what is the difference? bath is not espically bad, there are a few idiots but you find that in every city
    I've been out in London, and my area at home can be quite rough, but I wouldn't want to go out in Bath on a Saturday night. It hasn't got a nice atmosphere.
 
 
 
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