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Should the new alcohol law of 2003 be repealed?

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Sarah Huckerby Karen Kulas Should the new alcohol law of 2003 be repealed? November 2005 saw the United Kingdom change its law to a new twenty-four hour drinking, similar to that of Europe, The theory behind this new law suggests Britain can change and re-educate themselves into making adult choices about drinking. Britain can be seen to take time for this to develop so that it may change the drinking culture that is currently evident. Changing drinking culture in the United Kingdom through 24 hour drinking can be seen as the way forward to adopt a more continental way of life. Where it is seen as more family orientated and individuals have more choices when and how much to drink, however The United Kingdom have a temperance culture (Levine 1992) which rises to the term Binge drinking, a term used to explain the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time, which leads to a rapid increase of alcohol in the blood. The most common accepted definition of an excessive amount of alcohol is two times the daily intake provided by the government; 3-4 unit's a day for men and 2-3 for women (www.the.portmangroup.co.uk 30September 2006) Binge drinking is a habit which is more common on the 16-24 age group however it occasionally extends into the early 30s. ...read more.


In order to transform the attitudes of U.K drinkers and establish a drinking culture similar to that found in Southern Europe, government officials have emphasised the importance of educating the public (especially youths) about the dangers associated with excessive drinking. Education in schools provides students with plenty of information regarding the dangers of drugs and unprotected sex, however binge drinking is a rather neglected, in fact that current government policy intends to change Home office Minister Caroline Flint commented "all schools must now have sound alcohol education policies in place" (December 2004 http://press.homeoffice.gov.uk/press-releases October 16 2006) However, despite the intentions behind this education policy it is unlikely Sarah Huckerby That it will have the desired long term effects on this country, alcohol consumption culture as past education campaigns have only proved successful when given in an high profile and are seen to b a public priority, on the other hand the patterns of today's youth and binge drinking does not seem to be altering their alcohol consumption habits. For many youths and students in particular, binge drinking is a way of life and nearly all Universities in the U.K have student unions bars where cheap drink is offered and bars and nightclubs hold student nights, with cheap entry and cheap drinks are readily available, knowledge of possible dangers does not seem to be able to alter that. ...read more.


The crackdown was announced as a success as an average 9% drop in alcohol related crime was recorded in those areas tackled however, closure of bars or clubs, may only take customers to other areas, and furthermore could shift more violence to other areas. Despite the governments alleged concern over binge drinking and the health and crime associated with it, after viewing current policies it is difficult to identify whether the aim is to actually cut down levels of binge drinking or merely the crime which often results from it. The desire to recreate Southern Europe's drinking culture in the U.K suggests that it is alcohol related crime which is the government's main concern, rather than that of the health of the nation. The total amount of alcohol per annum consumed in these countries is higher than in the U.K and would result in even more alcohol related illness and disease. Although a good starting point, the restricted freedom of alcohol advertisements, do not go far enough to ensure a change in the well established drinking patterns in the U.K. The government additionally has not chosen to increase the price of alcohol as officials claim it would have side effects. The 2003 licensing act gives the clearest indication of the governments true intentions in relation to binge drinking. Extended opening hours ensures that high levels of alcohol will still be consumed which is going have a huge effect on the health of U.K citizens, but beneficial to the alcohol taxes received by the government. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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