I heard on the news that there is a new plan to cut binge-drinking and reduce the amount of drunks lingering around town in the early hours of the morning. Apparently it involves eliminating ‘all you can drink’ offers, drinking games as well as free drinks promotions aimed at women. In addition, pubs and clubs will have to provide free tap water to customers as well as provide an option of using a large or small glass.
Some of these changes are to come into effect in April and others in October.
However, I personally don’t believe that any of these measures will prevent persons from drinking to the point of complete and total intoxication.
I have discovered since moving here, that alcohol is the focal point of a night out, especially for students. First they pre-drink before they leave home, and these drinks are bought from the local supermarket at a very cheap price, and then they will go to a bar before going to the club for another round of drinks. So by the time they get to the club, they have already consumed a substantial amount of alcohol, and will not hesitate to purchase drinks at the bar regardless of the price. Not to mention the peer pressure they face from other heavy drinkers.
So honestly, eliminating drink offers and drinking games will have little or no effect on the amount of drunken persons around. People will drink if they want to, and just because water is on offer at a bar, that doesn’t mean anyone has to request it.
And although it is illegal to serve alcohol to someone who is drunk, do you think bartenders really check to see if the person they are serving is drunk? Unless the person is completely intoxicated, I think that the constant flow of customers at a bar would prevent the bartender from spotting the drunks. His/her job is to serve as many drinks as possible to as many customers as possible, not spot drunks.
The police are fully supporting this new plan in an effort to curb alcohol-related crime. Last year alcohol-related crime cost the UK £7.3bn. This is because people become irresponsible when they are under the influence and officers have to spend too much of their time trying to control the confusion caused by drunks.
In my opinion, some of the only options for lowering the high number of binge-drinkers are raising the drinking age to 21/22 when people can be more responsible and banning supermarket bulk buys.
However, I don’t believe that this practice of total inebriation will stop anytime soon. It has become too important to the lifestyle of many people and unfortunately some people will continue this as they mature.