Is Europe coming for our pints?

Spiked online has a leaked EU memo defining the social costs of drinking alcohol as “passive drinking”. The document is expected to shape an EU Commission document on alcohol later this year.

  • crataegus

    I would welcome any move to change attitudes on drinking. I don’t see it as acceptable to drink yourself legless and then proceed to demolish everything in sight on the way home or urinate in people’s doorways. Drunks can cause endless misery and I see little reason to tolerate.

    Visit an A&E some Friday night and just watch what the staff have to deal with. It is often the utter abuse.

    About 8 years ago I was in an A&E in the early morning with someone and all around mayhem. Someone drunk had fallen out a window, some drunk woman came in for no other reason than shout abuse, others were injured in street fights and seeking to continue the battle in the hospital. You would think if someone was trying to stitch up your leg you would be happy to lie there and let them get on with it? The Doctor deserved a medal I would have been inclined to let them bleed.

    We drink far too much, it is too cheap and we unnecessarily mix drink with much recreational activity. Also we should ban advertising and restrict the outlets that can sell and the times of sale.

    It is Europe’s biggest drug problem.

  • joeCanuck

    The problem with your post crataegus, is that you are not describing drinking, you are describing drunkeness.
    If you want to see the social cost of proscribing alcohol, just look at the mafia in the USA. Prohibition made them what they are and they now infest every corner of society.

  • crataegus

    Joecanuck

    Drunkenness requires you to drink. I am not suggesting proscribing simply a radical tightening up on availability and attitudes as to what is acceptable. Given we have a problem why should we have adds for booze on television?

    If you think the current situation acceptable suggest walking around the likes of inner Belfast on a Friday night and the amount of anti social behaviour and underage drinking really should not be tolerated. If youths of 12-14 can readily obtain alcohol then we need to tighten up.

    Alcohol abuse is a major problem for many businesses and the social costs are immeasurable.

  • joeCanuck

    Well Crataegus, I do agree with you that attitudes do need to change. Who is buying the alcohol for these youths?

    I don’t think restricting the availabilty is the answer. Certainly a consideration should be given to curbing TV advertising.
    I think the best way to curb underage drinking is to impose severe penalties on those who sell and those who purchase it for minors. those selling it should face an immediate suspension of their licence.

  • crataegus

    Once upon a time I actually monitored a particular group of youths and alcohol purchase. It works like this the older ones over 18 purchase for the group usually between about 7.30-8.30 pm.

    I agree regarding increasing the penalties, but it occurred to me that if the age to buy to consume off the property was raised to 21 a lot of the problem would disappear. Also it would make it easier for the seller to identify those underage.

    Another thought was if the sale of alcohol for consumption outside the premises stopped at 5pm then it may also contribute to solving the problem. A 15 year old would look pretty silly, and be a lot more noticeable, running around with 6 packs at 5-6 pm than they are 9pm. For the rest of us if we want to buy a bottle we can plan ahead.

    It also struck me as odd that one of the ways to obtain a late license was to provide entertainment. So provide a disco and gain a late licence. I would have thought that we should try to separate what youths do from those pedalling drugs legal or otherwise, but no we encourage. Perhaps we need to look more closely at entertainment licenses.

  • eranu

    what an absolute load of EU nonsense!

    “‘Alcohol not only harms the user, but those surrounding the user, including the unborn child, children, family members, and the sufferers of crime, violence and drink-driving accidents: this can be termed environmental alcohol damage or “passive drinking”.’

    people are responsible for their own actions. its silly to try and blame something else. whats next, ‘passive obesity’ ?
    “someone beside me had a cream bun which made me have 12 myself, now im as fat as a fool. im a victim !!!”

    replace alcohol with anything you want in the above quote from the report……