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24 hour drinking - Ed's journal
24 hour drinking
The next big fuss in the media, is about "24 hour drinking". Only it's not, really is it? They're just relaxing licensing hours, so it isn't "drinking up time" at 11.

What this really means is that some pubs may be open a little longer, and one or two, quite a lot longer. You're not going to get more pissed people on the streets, you're just going to get about the same number, spread over a few hours.

I currently go to a pub that's a little flexible about its hours. And I can tell you for sure, that it really doesn't make much difference - the major distinction is that customers start to filter out at 11 or so, not in one big rush. There are no fights, and I don't think anyone gets more drunk that they would if they stopped serving punctually.

I don't know about you, but I just can't keep on drinking. If the pub was open until (say) 4 am as a standard, I'd probably drink a similar number (maybe one or two more) and go home before closing time.

So basically, all this law _really_ means is that landlords don't risk fines for a law that was designed to get the workers back in the factories during the war.

I think this is a great idea. I think most pubs will still close about the same time - after all, they don't want to be up all night, but that it'll be possible to get a taxi and not have to queue for junk food just after kicking out time.
13 comments or Leave a comment
scarletdemon From: scarletdemon Date: January 14th, 2005 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I dunno...I only go home when they throw me out.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 14th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but do you
a) wander out of the pub, a bit tanked, and look for people to beat the crap out of.

b) stagger home/to the nearest taxi, and go home and pass out.
scarletdemon From: scarletdemon Date: January 14th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

c)I stop my endless talking, finish up my second drink of the night and walk to the taxi rank. Then I get home and bore my husband by repeating every conversation I've had.

So in my case 24 hour opening isn't a "drinking" problem, it's a "knowing when to stop talking and go home" issue.
(Deleted comment)
From: feanelwa Date: January 14th, 2005 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, but if the regulars were the sort of person who goes out in the evenings knowing they'll get drunk and start fighting with their drinking companions, would the landlord have such a flexible policy?

Apparently ambulance and police crews are dreading the more relaxed licensing laws, because on New Year's Day there was a constant stream of emergency calls all night about people fighting, and most of them were groups of people who went out together specifically to get drunk and make a nuisance of themselves and started fighting with people within the group instead of picking on some random person in a queue. Although I suppose the new law would work if we just let the more violent members of these groups annihilate each other in the first few weeks.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 14th, 2005 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's already illegal to serve people who are drunk.

I believe in scotland, the licensing hours are already 'until you want to close'.

New year's eve is something of a special case, although if we assume that there's a subset of people who are going to get drunk and violent, do we want them all on the streets at 11:20, or do we want there to be a staggered going home time?

In my opinion, if you have about the same number, you're much less likely to have trouble if there's less at once, and even if you do have trouble, the police and ambulance crews are better able to respond, since not all the incidents happen within 30 minutes of each other.
From: feanelwa Date: January 14th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
It depends on the reason for having a fight - if the people fighting are doing it because they genuinely think that hitting that person will make their life less inconvenient, then staggered closing times will cause violence to decrease. Personally I think people who fight when they're drunk do it because they want their friends and random onlookers to think "That person is well hard and holds power over me to make me do what they want" - it's about getting people to see you hurting somebody, not about whether you think you should genuinely get a portion of chips 30 seconds before somebody else, and if there's already one fight nearby, a second fight wouldn't make enough attention for the risk of injury to be worthwhile, so I think it wouldn't help.

I suppose we'll find out which one is right when the changes go through!

As an aside, I've never met a bar person who would refuse to serve somebody who was drunk, because they're scared of getting glassed. It's not a very enforceable law, unless you make it known that bars are allowed one can of pepper spray per till.
jambon_gris From: jambon_gris Date: January 14th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
The problem is some people are just unable to controll thier drinking in anyway shape or form and would then go on to cause carnage for every body else who would be left to pick up the pieces.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 14th, 2005 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Assuming no specific example here, but isn't it the case that even with 'normal' drinking hours, the same problem occurs?
jambon_gris From: jambon_gris Date: January 14th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
of course with no specific example in mind. It is a great relief to be able to say "No icon is closed now"
jorune From: jorune Date: January 14th, 2005 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Drinkers should pay a true economic cost for their actions, the cost of providing emergency cover at chucking out, the health costs of chucking up. Let people drink, drug or snort cows as long as they pay for their actions.

Otherwise it's a short trip to the spice mines of Kessel.

sobrique From: sobrique Date: January 14th, 2005 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I recall correctly, about a third of the price of a pint is tax.

What does that go towards?

I've always been of the opinion that drugs/drink etc. are best off legalized and taxed. There's a huge amount of 'drug related' crime that IMO is mostly because of high prices, and erratic supply.

A legalised industry would provide for safe distribution, and allow for taxation to cover the economic consequences.

But I digress :)
tya From: tya Date: January 17th, 2005 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly, it's been on the cards now for two terms of government. Let's hope we actually see some movement now.

(As a point, I was in that particular pub until almost four, but I only drank another couple of beers after closing time. I was a damn sight more sober than if I'd swigged back seven pints over three hours.)
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