Should public drunks be fined? Watch

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A leading medic says people should be fined £100 for being drunk in public, even if they do not cause a nuisance.

Plastic surgeon Peter Mahaffey believes police should carry breathalysers and fine those three times over the drink-drive limit.

The government has rejected the idea. They say the existing powers of police to fine people between £50 and £80 if they are drunk and disorderly are sufficient - although under Mr Mahaffey's plans they would not need to be causing a nuisance to be punished.

Is this a fair way to tackle drunken behaviour? Do you think the existing laws are working or do we need tougher penalties as suggested by Mr Mahaffey? Are there better ways to curb excessive drinking?

Read the full story (on the BBC website)
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manderlay in flames
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#2
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There's probably be riots if they tried to introduce this, and rightly so.
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ma2k5
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#3
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Not a bad idea - its just not safe to be strolling around on the streets highly drunk - why wait for them to hurt someone (or themselves) before the deterrant comes into play?
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Tufts
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#4
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#4
How would you get from the pub home?
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AT82
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#5
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#5
If I have had 8 pints and I am not causing a nuisance then why should I be fined?
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Sithius
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#6
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#6
Lolz, feel sorry for all the drunks leaving clubs/bars/pubs...

Stupid idea.
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rosetinted
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#7
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#7
Ridiculous idea. Being drunk in itself is not an offence nor should it be one. I agree that people who are acting aggressively or in an inappropriate way when drunk should be cautioned or apprehended by police, but not people doing nothing wrong.

It's the daftest suggestion I've heard in a long time. What will police do with these drunk people once they've detained them? Are we going to build new cells onto every police station in the country? They are often full to bursting already. The last thing the police service needs in this country is to spend tons of effort and time arresting people who aren't causing a menace to society. Let them catch actual criminals.
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L i b
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#8
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Sorry, but three times over the drink drive limit apparently equates to about a bottle and a half of wine. I've drank more than that at lunch when I have classes in the afternoon. It's obviously a ridiculous load of nonsense.

What I want to know, however, is why anyone is giving this obvious lunatic the time of day. Well done, he's a plastic surgeon - I'm sure that's nice for him, but exactly what legal training does he have? Does he have any sort of qualifications in sociology? Is he a particularly astute observer of the human condition? Hell, does he even know a bloody thing about policing? I sincerely doubt it. So the question arises: why is he being given this great platform what which to air his thoroughly ill-considered and down-right idiotic views?

Or is it simply more BBC scaremongering - pretending things like this are serious proposals?
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L i b
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(Original post by ma2k5)
Not a bad idea - its just not safe to be strolling around on the streets highly drunk - why wait for them to hurt someone (or themselves) before the deterrant comes into play?
You can already be arrested for being drunk and incapable. I've had two friends picked up on that (yes, I travel in good circles) - and standard procedure seems to be to try to contact someone who will pick you up, or make you spend a night in the cells, whereafter they will send you a letter with the address of the local Alcoholics Anonymous and reminding you that you have, in theory, broken the law.
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Tory Dan
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#10
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God I would start having to incorporate £100 into my night out budget!
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L i b
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(Original post by rosetinted)
Are we going to build new cells onto every police station in the country?
Bring back the roundhouse!
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L i b
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#12
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I see the BBC again call up "Alcohol Concern" for a quote. Bunch of miserable, half-fascist ignorant Puritans.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by L i b)
Sorry, but three times over the drink drive limit apparently equates to about a bottle and a half of wine. I've drank more than that at lunch when I have classes in the afternoon.
Actually, based on typical wine these days, a bottle and a half would be almost six and a half times over the limit.
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Soundwave
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#14
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So basically what he's proposing is a legally enforcable upper limit on the amount of drink someone is allowed to have when they go out... interesting. And really really stupid.

The govt. have already refused it, and personally I can't see them reconsidering. I mean for one thing, think of the tax they'd be missing out on if people didn't drink as much... and I think despite popular belief, the govt do have at least some concept of 'freedom' for people to do as they wish, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Hence its rejection.
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Dionysus
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#15
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#15
This is, perhaps, the most stupid proposition for a law I have ever seen.
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GiveItToMeBaby
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#16
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#16
seriously is the worst idea ever, we friendly drunks do no harm
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Botticello
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#17
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No. Only if they puke or wee or start a fight, but every drunk would not work!
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Reue
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#18
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#18
Why shouldnt i be able to walk down the street whilst drunk? As long as im not causing any problems or damage, my state of mind is entirely my own.
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tis_me_lord
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#19
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#19
What a cretinous law, fine people for "being drunk" - what does that even mean? Is there even a point where you're not drunk and then oh wait, now you are.

How about we do the sensible thing, and fine people when they actually do something wrong as a result ofbeing drunk? Like I don't know - public urination or getting into fights.

The act of being drunk on its own is not illegal, alcohol is legal. Why don't you just fine people who walk through parks because that's where rapists are most likely to hang out, while you're at it.
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linkdapink
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#20
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But what if you get drunk inside and then go and walk to the nearest taxi rank to go home - oh you get a fine cos you're wasted. Thats just ridiculous. I've never caused a nuisance when drunk (or sober for that matter) and I would be offended to get a warning just because I've drunk a lot with friends.
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