In November 2005 changes to the Licensing Act (2003) allowed British businesses to apply for 24-hour liquor licenses.

This was the birth of 24-hour drinking in Britain – has it been a success?

In it’s defence the law has eradicated the problems that were associated with ‘last orders’, ‘drinking up’ and ‘chucking out’ time. It deters people from consuming vast quantities of alcohol in a short space of time and it nullifys the violence that often follows mass exoduses from pubs and nightclubs.

The statistics show that levels of alcohol-related violence have remained virtually the same since the law was introduced. In fact on the surface nothing much as changed only that people are able to drink alcohol for longer.

However the underlying trends tell a different story.

Personally, I like a drink, that’s my choice but I’m not convinced that 24-hour drinking is a good idea.

Clubbing is now an all night affair whereas prior to the law’s introduction the clubs tended to close about 2am, you’d then grab a takeaway and make your way home. It’s not the extra drinking time that concerns me, it’s what people take to stay awake all night long

I believe that the law has encouraged drug-taking, in fact Britain seems to have gone soft on drugs altogether.

At least with alcohol you know what you are dealing with, whereas with drugs who knows what’s in them. Dont get me wrong, you’ll NEVER stop people doing what they want to do and in fairness I believe that individuals have a right to do whatever they want, as long as they are not harming others.

However, freedom of choice is one thing but passing laws that encourage self-harming and anti-social behaviour is another.

Out by eight, in by two. That’s enough drinking time for anyone.

Andy.

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