The 24 Hour Drinking Law in the UK and its Consequences

Recently, I have noticed that the advent of 24 hour drinking is finally coming into fruition in the grand ol’d City of London. Of course this is causing an uproar, society will collapse! We will turn into a nation of alcoholics! No-one is safe! Lock up your children! Drunken-ness will reign supreme!

Oh shut up.

All that 24 hour drinking means is that pubs are open 24 hours… thats it. It means barmen now have night shifts that will go through to the mornings, and there will no longer be a scramble when last orders are called! This is a “good thing” trust me… everyone knows the horror of trying to get to the bar once that time comes around and the long, horrendous lines of people waiting to get that one last drink. Worried about more drunken violence come the advent of 24 hour drinking? Well, by eliminating last orders, you’ve taken away the frustration and irritant that usually causes most drunken violence, add to that the bundling annoyance of chucking out time, when everyone leaves at the same time and thus instigates friction over who gets that cab. With 24 hour drinking, this is abolished, as it introduces a causality (not casualty…) towards leaving, as people will come and go as they please.

In regards to this “nation of alcoholics” fear, it’s highly doubtful. To be fair the only people who will really take advantage of the 24 hourness of it WILL be alcoholics! After all who in their right mind spends a whole day drinking? As an ex-student and sometime drinker of the booze, I know that eventually you get to a point when you know you’re pissed and decide enough is enough, and the most appealing thing to you is not another round of Guinness but a nice kebab and a lovely warm bed. But while that may just be me, I’ve also seen other such drunken comrades and while they may move past this point (usually with the slurring claims of “I’m not drunk!”) they soon become incapable of even lifting a pint glass, let alone ordering one. 24 hour drinking will not mean people absorbing booze like a sponge to water, because they will still have the same limits as before. Add to this the financial strain, once you run out of money you can’t get any more booze can you? Yes you could clamber to the cash machine and attempt to enter your pin, but that requires hand eye co-ordination that by that point, you just don’t have anymore…

Of course, by reading this, you may think “Oli, you are condoning wide spread drunkenness! Society will fall! People will de-evolve! THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!”

Again, shut up you over-zealous crazy person. Here, have some cocoa, it’s terribly mourish…

To be fair, my point is not that 24 hour drinking is ok, it’s that it won’t make a difference except eliminate the problems I highlighted before. We do get drunk often and just because pubs are open longer, doesn’t mean that we will get more drunk, we will remain AS drunk. They worry that it will encourage the binge drinking culture that is forming? No it won’t, it will turn binge drinking into just drinking! Binge drinking by definition is going out one night and getting absolutely plastered, with 24 hour drinking, you have time to spread the drinking time! A one night plastering can become divided over many nights as you have the time to which to drink!

So here’s to 24 hour drinking, not the great social fear we all think it is… If you agree, mine’s a pint of the black stuff.

“You can’t drink a pint of Bovril”