back to article Ban booze in supermarkets, says health adviser

A health adviser to the government has formulated a cunning plan to tackle the UK's binge drinking epidemic which some claim has seen this green and pleasant land converted into a booze-fuelled version of a bad Saturday night in the Democratic Republic of Congo - simply ban the sale of alcohol in supermarkets. According to the …

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  1. Ian

    And the same principle for everything else we don't like?

    If we follow this to its logical conclusion, surely you'd have to visit a different shop for your unhealthy food as well, given that this is also a public health menace.

    So that's what Iceland is for!

  2. Steve
    Thumb Down

    Price of beer is disgracefully high

    Maybe the prof should get over to the pub when he's considering the price of alcohol.

    Far from disgracefully cheap I think he'll find that at £2.50 a pint or more it's disgracefully high.

    Maybe someone should provide him with a connection back to reality from whatever alternate dimension he inhabits, either that or cut his communication cord.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't see the problem with this proposal...

    but I do wear glasses!

    Is he suggesting all Alcohol or just spirits & tart fuel and leaving sensible stouts of moderate alcohol for the discerning? Segregating sales in "Off-license" sections and slapping opening hours on them might be helpful but that would be a retrograde step, not in line with a modern "New Britain" of consumer choice and customer focussed business and would raise costs.

    Ohhh cynical me.

  4. Joel

    I'll point out...

    that the "certain states" here in the United States that restrict the sale of adult beverages are generally the butt of every hick joke. Following these certain states lead, since they typically lead in illiteracy, would not be advisable.

  5. Mark Warman
    Thumb Up

    Could this mean a return of the old fasioned off-license?

    Be nice if it did. Back to the days of actually being able to ask someone that knows each bottle, rather than someone that probably hasn't even tasted it...

    Not sure I agree with the price hike though.

  6. Insane Reindeer
    Thumb Up

    The Best Idea....

    I have heard in ages! Use the resulting space to push locally sourced and produced products, and yes I know that it certain area's of the country this could include cider, bitters and such like but tough! Along with the introduction of a nationally recognised system of age verification, such as only accepting passports, picture driving licences etc I could see this having a real effect!

  7. David
    Dead Vulture

    hmmm

    Guess i'll have to just buy carton loads of mouthwash and get smashed on that. why should I be inconvienienced just because some body cant take their drink?

    And what about sprouts I hate them, they definately should have a seperate store for them. reduces methane emissions too *nods*

  8. Jon

    Out of Touch

    It's not the supermarkets that lead to problems its clubs. Most people buy from supermarkets for home parties, the trouble in town centers tends to come from revelers out for the night.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward

    lots of luck

    The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has state-run liquor stores. Beer and perhaps wine are sold for off-premise consumption at bars, and at certain stores that sell by the case (24 containers) or more. The licensing process for restaurants is in some towns burdensome, to judge from the BYOB operations.

    However, among the billboards I never fail to notice along the highways are those for law firms specializing in DUI (driving under the influence [of alcohol]) defense.

  11. Chris Bradshaw

    Won't help the people who need help...

    This just makes buying alcohol less convenient. The people who want to binge will still make the trip to the liquor store to buy what they need (perhaps they will buy more so they have to make the trip less often). This idea might help non-binge drinkers drink a little less, I know that if I have some beer at home I'll drink one of an evening, but if I don't have any I won't make a special trip to the store for it.

    And as for 'dry' counties or states in the US - people just drive to the nearest 'wet' county and fill their car with bottles.. Again, it makes drinking less convenient but does not stop the behaviour.

    People with an addiction (compulsion) will do whatever they have to in order to satisfy the addiction...

    What will they think of next - banning food sales in supermarkets to help overweight people and binge eaters??

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Bored!

    Teenagers did not and still do not drink because booze is cheap; they drink because they are bored! In my home town, there are no night-clubs, no cinema, no bowling or ice-skating - unless you get on the train to Stevenage or have a car to drive to Bedford, Cambridge or Milton Keynes. All of which costs and you cannot drive as a teenager! When someone tried to open a yoof-oriented "bar" (soft drinks only) in a neighbouring town, the NIMBYs all complained and the project failed.

    Society only has itself to blame for teenage binge-drinkers!

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    Ban food while you're at it

    What about binge eaters? Maybe we should ban food from supermarkets too!

    A more sensible idea might be to require all licenced premises to carry a fixed % of their shelf space to low/non-alcoholic beers & wine. And in the case of low/non-alcoholic beers & wine to be compelled to sell them at cost rather than hiking their prices.

    It's just stupid that a six pack of non-alcoholic beer costs as much as the alcoholic variety and the supermarket gets to pocket the excise 18p duty on each bottle.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spain 128 cents a bottle for a good wine

    How do you explain the lack of binge drinking/violent behaviour in other countries where alcoholic drinks are much cheaper?

    I blame alcohol fueled legislators. Too many Italian wines in Tuscany and too little nights out in a pub to know wtf their talking about.

    Too many laws that emptied the streets of normal people at night. Too many attacks on teenagers. 'stop your antisocial noise or I'll turn on the antisocial noise machine to drive you away'.

    Standing on a street? That's a crime now, 2 grand fine for not moving along when the officer asks you. But if you're lucky some dick in a control tower will bark a warning at you through a loud speaker first.

    (From Council Loudspeaker): "Please keep the noise down or I will report you for antisocial behaviour. I SAID KEEP THE NOISE *DOWN*"

    Thank Blair the text time you meet him in the street.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't stop street drunkenness

    If you're buying alcohol from a supermarket along with significant other stuff (nibbles don't count) it's probably not going to result in you getting trolleyed on the High Street, more likely to see you sliding into a coma in front of late night telly.

    If you're in a supermarket buying White Lightning, then the only difference between a supermarket and a single-purpose offie is that Asda is probably cheaper.

    As a recipe to reduce casual at-home overconsumption of alcohol, it's probably a measure which could have short term effects until people switch their habits to a monthly trip to Majestic (Or Siansburys et al just open a "Drink Shop" on their existing properties). As an attempt to reduce on-street drunkenness it's a crock of pavement pizza.

  16. David
    Boffin

    Back to home brew then

    So the price of booze rockets, it's harder to come by. Do they plan to ban the sale of yeast and sugar yet too? If not then it's back to brewing a few litres of supermarket apple juice with some sugar and yeast for my cider fix and dusting off my fermenting bins!

    Bless 'em though for coming up with such unworkable impractical soundbites!

  17. Pete Silver badge

    it's a culture thing, not a drink thing

    The original piece is not about supermarkets, it's about cheap booze, specifically with respect to young people.That's not the problem.

    People from every nation get drunk.

    The main difference is that when young brits get drunk they (according to the stereotypes) go around smashing things up and thumping people.

    Contrast this to drunks from other countries who will either seduce each other, talk loudly or just fall asleep.

    The problem is not the getting drunk - it's why do young brits cause so much trouble when they do it. That seems to be a cultural problem, with what people do when they lose their inhibitions, rather than a booze = violence issue, which is the way the newpapers with the small vocabularies are presenting it.

    In other countries booze is *much* cheaper than in the UK (7 euros for a 1litre bottle of local brandy, for example) but you don't get the middle-class, affluent, cut-off-from-reality, sip-of-sherry-on-a-saturday-night types there saying it should be made more expensive.

    Maybe people should start looking at the root-cause, cultural, issues, rather than merely hiding the problem with the simplistic idea of "more tax" to stop individuals doing things they disapprove of.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    See how well it worked for us..

    Just visit Finland, Sweden or most of the Nordic countries to see how well, *cough* *cough* it worked for us.

    Only beer and other mild drinks are available at supermarkets and anything stronger requires a visit to the government run monopoly outlets. Never stopped anyone from getting drunk, if you ask me...

    Still, it won't hurt either.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Well since I reside in KS

    where the booze is in a separate shop I can state that it makes no difference whatever it's slightly less convenient, however we have far more liquor stores than we have supermarkets. No one is under served.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    What the real problem is

    Where do you think kids get most of there booze from? It's the smaller shops and off licences where they can get away with it. I doubt you'll find many kids getting served in Tesco, Sainsburys or ASDA.

    As for us adults, we're 'adults' and able to make decisions for ourselves, so but out Professor Nanny State - Thank you very much.

  21. Anthony Sanford

    Bring back Off-licences I say

    Since I don't really drink here is what I think.

    Only sell alcohol in off licenses.

    Off-Licenses should close at 8pm

    All transactions to be videoed so it can be used as evedence.

    Off-licenses that sell to underage people should have their license revoked automatically for a month.

    I think thats draconian enough for the moment.

  22. mark
    Paris Hilton

    Higher Prices Work

    They've got a similar system down under. I can't say I'm particularly bothered where I get my booze from, in fact if it means that my local offie gets a higher volume of sales and so can afford to bulk-buy and discount, it'll save me a trudge to Mr Sainsbury's establishment.

    The comments about the price of alcohol having an impact on drinking levels are true though... many London clubs have a penchant for charging £4 for a 275/330ml bottle of beer... at that price it's impossible to drink yourself silly.

    Only problem is that if a government tried imposing that kind of price across the country, it wouldn't be long before cross-channel traffic doubled with vans laden with "booze for the family wedding, honest guvn'r." And there'd probably be a popular uprising.

    Paris, because she knows how to handle her drink

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I think they are missing the point

    The "Bargain Booze" shop (one in every shit hole) not far from my parents house, is also the Post Office and convience store.

    So to save pushing the prams to far on the way, to the school, to meet the fathers of the kids, they can pick up the giro, get the booze and fags and stuff their faces on cold pizza.

    Lets have more of these "non-supermaket" outlets, they are the way forward!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This will make a difference how?

    I buy most of my booze in the corner store just across the road. Saves lugging it back from Morrisons. Yes, its a whole quid cheaper in Morrisons, but I have better things than beer to lug home from there.

    Will it cause me to change my drinking habits? Errrm - nope.

    Regards

    Neil

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Isn't this what they do in Sweden & Norway?

    In Sweden you have to go to the Systembolaget and get a ticket to enable you to go back later and buy the booze (at eye-watering prices). Still see people lying insensible in the gutters though...

    Glad I brew my own lol.

    Mine's the polar explorer's coat with a pocketful of Bolaget tickets.

  26. Darren B

    Supermarkets seem a safer bet to me

    I would rather got to a supermarkets selling also booze than an in town offie selling only booze. At least I am less likely to be accosted by the hovering yoofs outside crying, "get us some beer mista or I will stick ya."

  27. Robert T
    Dead Vulture

    How about developing a cafe culture?

    I much prefer the European cafe culture approach.. even at my local Irish pub in Germany, there's table service and individual payment.. everybody can drink at their own pace, order what they want, and enjoy themselves. Getting into rounds of drinks leads to people drinking far more than that should, and makes responsible service of alcohol obligations a joke.

    Of course, getting Brits out of their binge drinking habits may prove a bit more challenging..

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ban booze in supermarkets, says health adviser...

    Go f*ck yourself, says drinking public.

  29. Ian

    Wont do anything for underage drinking though

    Supermarkets are the ones that actually do enforce age checks, I've seen a 47yr old ID'd at ASDA before because they've been told to ID everyone!

    It's the dodgy little off-licenses, which whilst having an interesting amount of quaintness and nostalgic value are also the primary places get hold hold of alcohol.

    It may help binge drinking by adults who are legally allowed to drink however and whilst I'd love to agree that they should be able to make their own decisions, I struggle to agree with it when it's my tax money they're burning when they end up in hospital as a result!

  30. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Not just UK problem

    Here in the Netherlands, there is a serious increase in what is known as coma-drinking: kids (as young as 11-13 years old) litterally drinking themselves into a coma. There has been something like a six-fold increase in incidents in recent years. So it is not "just" binge drinking and being loud/violent, it is real damage to their health. I do not think higher prices help. I know that in Finland, but also here in NL, people "pre-load" themselves with booze before going out. Something should be done, but knee-jerk reactions are not the way forward.

  31. Jon G

    you what ?

    Anyway, if alcohol was sold "at different outlets" then we'd all be slagged off by the Greens for driving there. So I am helping to contain global warming by buying my booze along with the weekly shop, and therefore cutting my CO2 emissions. I Thankyou.

  32. Tawakalna
    Paris Hilton

    and the IT or Paris Hilton angles are?

    complete lack of IT related material, and the lovely Paris wouldn't demean herself by shopping in Lidl or Netto, screaming at Beyonce to get Tyson back in his pram.

  33. PaulK
    Thumb Up

    I am all for the Australian version...

    ... the drive through bottle shop. Fantastic idea. Roll through a tin shed and let somebody else load up the "ute," and don't forget the sweet sherry for the sheilas. All beer should be sold this way.

  34. Neural9
    Paris Hilton

    A solution

    It's simple. Restrict people from doing something and when they do inevitably do it, they'll go hell for leather. It's true throughout human nature whether it's beer, sex/porn, bittorrent downloading, etc.

    Introducing drink responsibly from an early age leads to moderation. Ban it, make it difficult to obtain and when they do, regardless of age, they'll go mad.

    That is, unless you actually are a tosser and then you just need locking up.

    Paris, because she's ace when she's wankered.

  35. Red Bren
    Happy

    Addressing the symptoms not the problem?

    The binge drinking problem isn't caused by the availability of cheap booze to under-age kids, but that we don't provide a controlled environment for adolescents/young adults to familiarise themselves with alcohol.

    Why not enforce or even raise the existing age limit for supermarket/off-licence sales but allow 16 year-olds to drink on licenced premises? Pub prices will limit how many drinks they will be able to afford, the drinks industry will effectively pay for providing a secure environment and the kids will have somewhere more interesting to hang round instead of scaring old ladies at bus stops.

    We could even limit them to drinking real ale...

  36. Jason Togneri
    Boffin

    Not as bad as you seem to think

    In Finland, alcohol was (until a couple of years ago) a state-run monopoly, a chain of off-licenses imaginatively called "Alko". Now that chain of stores has been privatised but it's still effectively a monopoly - there's no competition. All strong alcohol is available only through those stores.

    The only things sold outside of those Alko stores is in the supermarkets, and that only covers any sorts of beer with less than 5.2% alcohol content; any wines, whiskies, vodka, export beers and so forth are exclusively in the Alkos.

    While I agree that shopping for wine along with food is still a good idea, to match them together, the segregation of food and alcohol isn't a terribly bad thing to live with and as the two are generally located near to each other, it's not much of a hassle either. I think you're all just terribly lazy.

  37. Justin Case
    Paris Hilton

    Extend the licensing idea

    Everybody at birth should be issued with a biometric card containing so many LUs "Liver Units". Each time you purchase alcohol your card would be debited a certain number of units until you had used all your entitlement to alcohol. Possibly a person could, in this way,be restricted from guzzling more than a certain amount each week thus cutting binge drinking. As for teetotalers, there could be a LU trading scheme, whereby they could sell their unwanted LUs to us seasoned heavy drinkers. Everyone's a winner! Poor homeless drinkers without the moolah to purchase extra LUs wouldn't be able to get enough drink to make them ill - suddenly there would be a much better class of drunk...

    Paris - because she understands

  38. Adam Foxton
    Joke

    @DrXym

    Non-alcoholic booze?! Good Lord, man- have you heard yourself lately?!

    Ban alcopops- high sugar content + lowered inhibitions + increased aggression / adrenaline = hyperactive, inhibitionless(?) drunks screaming, running about and generally being twuntish.

    Alcopops should be banned, and the cheap drain-cleaner (Rachmaninoff Vodka, looking at you!) drinks should be banned as they're just hangover-in-a-bottle material. Plus I've found they make me more aggressive whereas a good quality drink won't.

    Or they could try banning kids from drinking- that might work! :P

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gimme an off-license!!!

    To think that the concept of the off-license ever went away is beyond me. Bring it back. At least people in off-licenses tend to be a little bit more cynical and mistrusting and check ID... And that's the ideal place to employ a mosquito thing, even if it would kill me having to go in to buy my favourite tipple.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Bored!

    You're not from Hitchin or Letchworth, are you? :-)

    Stevenage is a dump. But it's the only dump Letchworth or Hitchin have for a night-life...

    :-)

  41. Name

    Lower the age limit...

    "Where do you think kids get most of there booze from? It's the smaller shops and off licences where they can get away with it. I doubt you'll find many kids getting served in Tesco, Sainsburys or ASDA."

    Exactly the opposite in fact... The smaller places can't afford the fines. And it would be the older legal friends who buy it. Unless we're in the pub where we can get served pretty much anywhere no problem.

    What does need to be done is LOWER the age (only on beer mind), just changing where you get it won't make a difference to the people who really have a problem with drink. It sounds counter intuitive to lower the age but it would work(in time, it wouldn't be a quick fix for society). When the french kids came over for the exchange my school runs many of them got drunk for the first time, despite being able to buy beer at 16. They were used to having the odd beer with lunch or a glass of wine at dinner while they were younger. To them alcohol wasn't anything special, they don't go out getting ratassed every night.

    Also i've seen a number of people post that youths do stupid things when drunk. It's just plain untrue, yes it happens a bit but no where near as much as with "adults". Don't believe everything you read in the papers...

  42. Mycho Silver badge
    Joke

    More restrictions on the sale of alcohol are needed

    They work so very well at reducing drunkenness in Scotland after all.

  43. captain kangaroo
    Black Helicopters

    What A Bunch Of Sh1t

    This is the same puile of horse shit that I'm realising is the product of an administration that has no idea about people at all...

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The prof

    Prof Le Grand also recently proposed a smoking ‘licence’, whereby the already highly-taxed smokers among us would have to pay a nominal fee (I believe £10 as reported in various places) but go through administrative hell to obtain a little card allowing the right to smoke.

    The idea wasn’t to raise money (the administration costs would probably negate any real profit from the scheme) but would deter people from smoking through a

    Ironically, he termed this ‘liberal paternalism’… He’s the chair of a left-leaning health think-tank, which explains a lot. And it's open to debate as to how much real influence he has.

    Paris? Because even she would have more sense…

  45. Dr. Mouse Silver badge
    Flame

    The govt wants to get kill the "working class"

    Everything points to it.

    The majority of those who smoke are working class. Those who will be most affected by a hike in booze prices are the working class. In fact, this "Labour" govt is, in may ways, specificaly discriminating against the generaly-lower-paid working class. Just look at the tax changes coming in April - someone working full time on minimum wage with no dependants will be approximately £60 worse off.

    Also, most people who binge drink do so out in bars/clubs. Most people who buy drink in supermarkets are doing so in order to have a quite drink on a night, or to throw a party at home, where most people are at a friends house and dont cause trouble coz they dont want to wreck the friends house.

    As for kids getting drunk, what they need to do is enforce the law. And providing some other entertainment for the kids would be good. Also, making the kids parents responsible, and charging them with criminal offences if their kids are out of controll.

    The guy who made this report wants shooting.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Dear Bored of Hitchin!

    No, worse: Biggleswade!

    OT: I was once stopped by the local "sherrif" for hooning around in my car. I was told I should know better when aged over 30 (he was just pissed as he was too young to afford the insurance on a group 18 sports-car) and "Why wasn't I up the pub?". The concept of being out in the fresh-air, chatting to friends on CB, then burning off 'excess' petrol didn't make sense to them. I tried to explain that petrol was cheaper than Beer and you couldn't drink and drive, but I'd used up his quota of long words and his brain short-circuited!

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    I see a pattern

    Another one, more sinister.

    This "stop selling booze in the supermarket" is just to distract the masses.

    Check out these seemingly unrelated facts

    a) Downgrade cannabis

    b) Liberalise opening hours for pubs

    c) Trash the NHS and make it the laughing stock of the world

    d) I = P * A * T (or whatever - meaning we need a human cull to save the planet)

    Because of (a) and (b), people are so stoned/drunk to notice (c), which, with its superbug infestation will finish off what (a) and (b) couldn't achieve, thereby reducing the population (for controlling CO2 emissions or whatever) - which is the objective of (d).

    People, you've been warned.

    Mine's the one with crusty layer of pizza and beer from last night out... Cheers.

  48. brimful

    he who drinks

    he who drinks gets drunk

    he who gets drunk falls asleep

    he who falls asleep does not sin

    he who does not sin goes to heaven

    so let us all drink and go to heaven.

  49. Ed
    IT Angle

    State Run Booze outlets suck...

    "that the "certain states" here in the United States that restrict the sale of adult beverages are generally the butt of every hick joke."

    What, you mean the vast majority of them? I can't think of any state that doesn't restrict the sale of alcohol somehow. Except maybe Texas where you have drive thru liquor and ammo stores...

    Anyway, in North Carolina everything is directly controlled by the state. You can only buy hard liquor at state run stores, and they enforce a monopoly on everything. That means if a particular beer isn't on the "state approved" list then you can't buy it anywhere, because there's no assigned distributor. It means we pay way more for our drinks than Georgia (I've lived there as well).

    Don't even get me started on South Carolina, where you can only get hard liquor in mini bottles. Try getting a long island iced tea there...

  50. Chris

    I still buy from the off-licence

    In fact it's one of the few off-licences listed in the CAMRA good beer guide (http://www.bittervirtue.co.uk). It's been a long time since I've ever brought any generic mass marketed rubbish they sell by the 24 pack in supermarkets since I now have a massive choice of real ales and imported beers from around the world.

    But then it seems a lot of people don't care what they're drinking as long as it 'get's em pished'.

  51. lucky13
    Flame

    No supermarket booze means higher prices...

    If supermarkets stop selling booze then prices across the board will go up. All that means is that people will still drink the same, but have less money leftover for healthy food (because it’s more expensive than crap… go figure?), gym membership and other leisure activities. I know at this point in my life I’d be one of them. Way to go, you have just made me a fat, unfit and unhealthy middle aged man!

    I’d have to agree that super markets are the toughest on ID’ing I’ve come acrosse. I’m 23 (probably look about 21/22) and get ID’d every time in Tesco, Sainsbury’s etc. But never have a problem with pubs or off licences.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    The real reason

    Hmmm, stopping supermarkets selling alcohol to reduce binge drinking, or to 'encourage' (force) people into the (genrous political donation generating) chain pubs which have been suffering since the smoking ban??

  53. Futaihikage
    Thumb Down

    Down with seperate stores!

    Feh, I live in PA in the US and let me tell you... it's really terrible getting your wine and favourite imbibed drink here. The selection is so off the wall low, that it grinds your nerves. The "seperate" stores will stock stuff thats will ONLY sell to peopel that binge drink! Every once and a blue moon you'll find a good bottle of wine, sake, or one of the hard liquors. But other times, you're shifting through the bottom barrel nonsense that people swill just to get their jollies. So, they might as well GO to the SUPERMARKET for it and not have these stupid stores that charge ridiculous prices with disgusting alcohol. Yeah... i'm bitter... I have to drive quite a ways to get good wine

  54. Richard Scratcher

    It's all back to front. Ban off licences!

    I buy my booze from the corner shop because it's close to my house. As mentioned before, the extra cost is irelephant. It's just so much more convenient.

    The supermarket is miles away and shopping there seems to be an evening's entertainment for many families, so it and its car park are always overcrowded. I'd be reluctant to shop there in the evening just because I fancied a nice glass of Chablis or a few litres of 8 Ace cider. Finding a parking place and grid-locked aisles would put me off.

    Gangs of kids hang around off licences, intimidating shop owners and passers by. They're unlikely to hang around big supermarkets because most places have security.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lower the age

    We have a nice tradition here in Brazil: that sign saying alchool is forbidden to ppl younger than 18 is just a formality.

    I performed my first drink-till-you-puke antics while aged 12. Most of the ppl I know also had it at around that age. By the time we were 16, boozing wasn't anything novel and most of us knew exactly our limits and how to avoid going into a coma.

    It is generally known that teaching is a few orders of magnitude better than banning. And as someone pointed out earlier, it is in our cukture when we get to drunk to first and foremost seduce each other (hence we probably get laid way more often at the late teens, earlier twenties brackets, leading to healthier minds), instead of looking for something to destroy or a face to smash.

    Is it really that hard to predict that if you forbid and demonize booze till the guy is 21 (is that it? 18, maybe?), when one is given grant to drink legally, one's first priority will be to check what the hell is the fuss all about, and having absolutelly no restraints or someone wiser around (just a bunch of youths in the same boat probably), the situation will surely escalate quickly? Youths drunken way past what they can handle losing counciousness (and their dinners) on the sidewalks around night clubs. Yes, I can see how banning supermarket or hiking the prices will help. Gouging prices, specially. I can get a decent quality bottle of vodka for the price of a Big Mac. That surelly doesnt make me drink more or less, just better, else I would be getting the cheaper crap anyway.

    Time comes, I will be the one teaching my kids how to enjoy a quality wine or beer, on the security of home and under supervision (first time drunks always hit their head somewhere) and that's before they turn 14. Way better than raising clueless sods to get plastered vomiting on a sidewalk.

  56. Steve Smith
    Thumb Down

    @Ban food while you're at it

    >A more sensible idea might be to require all licenced premises to carry a fixed % of their shelf space to low/non-alcoholic beers & wine. And in the case of low/non-alcoholic beers & wine to be compelled to sell them at cost rather than hiking their prices.

    Right! and to prevent obesity, stores should carry a fixed % of their shelf space to food that tastes Bad, so people won't eat so much of it. Brilliant!

    I've experienced the joy of visiting a state with stupid liquor laws. Couldn't buy a scotch in the freaking "beer and wine" bar, so I walked down the block and bought a bottle. Washington state, btw; stupid hosers.

    Steve

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    simple Idea

    politically incorrect, but that's why i like it. Just issue everyone in the country with and ID card...

    bear with me...If they're going to do it anyway we might as well get some use out of it

    Simply add an allowed to purchase alcohol flag, that is automatically revoked when you're on benefits (hint: you're not getting that free money to get rat-arsed every day) That way you get rid of all the binge drinkers that go around smashing things because get everything handed to them on a plate so have no respect for other peoples property.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Proper Booze Shops Please

    Utah is a Mormon State. Very strict rules about the sale of alcohol, so when you have a meal in a restaurant the waiter/ess is not allowed to ask you what you would like to drink. You have to ask for the 'Beverage Menu'

    There are a few pubs but the beer is pretty awful.

    Supermarkets - no chance of buying liquor.

    Liquor stores. Now they are something. We visited some folks in Salt Lake City and after a drive around the local mountains (wow!) I suggested that I would like to buy our hosts something to drink with our evening meal.

    The local liquor store was as big as a supermarket. Our hostess (South African) said she would like some Sherry - boy what a choice. Then I though a bottle of champagne would go down well. Over sixty different brands! I have never seen so much booze in one place (with the possible exception of some of the big wine cellars in France).

    Perhaps the good professor would prefer the South African model of the booze shop. You have to show ID before they let you in - past the growling German Shepard dogs, and just in case you think to doing a spot of shop lifting, take a look at the security guard armed with a pump action shotgun. We are not talking about the middle of Jo'burg, just a quite, friendly, mainly white suburb.

    Makes a trip to Tesco positively dull!

  59. Charles Hammond

    Include Cigarettes

    May as well include the nasty habit of tobacco in this ban also. Then maybe we should remove all drugs from the supermarket also.

  60. Charles Hammond

    What about Petrol markets

    In the USA we also sell beer and liquer at gas stations. Some places have even had drive through liquer stores or even delivery. That way you dont have to drive to the pub, they just drop it off so you can continue on your binge sex party.

  61. tardigrade
    Pirate

    I need more Beer.

    What about those of us who suffer from a lack of Booze? Has the health adviser considered this problem at all?

    I doubt it. However I for one living in a scarce part of the country occupied only by pig farms and otters are challenged on a weekly bases to find sufficient ale to keep myself sated. The Real Ale that I require is a scarce commodity in rural areas and the Supermarkets are the only distributors with the collateral to provide the service on a feasible economic basis.

    Remove Good Honest Beer from these outlets at your peril. I have a pitch fork and I will use it.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    No effect...

    Racking up prices will just mean more people go to europe to buy a load of cheaper booze. Which creates pollution so it pisses off the environ-mentalists at least.

  63. Matt
    Pirate

    Not enough angry ranting

    Lemme make a few predictions here:

    1) Price of booze will be put up by British retailers, whether offie, pub or 'liquor store'. This is rip-off Britain.

    2) Sheeple of Britain will accept it as 'the right thing to do'

    3) Cue introduction of 'alcohol duty escalator' - forget 1-2p/pint price hikes every Budget, we're talking 20-40p here

    4) Repeat 1-3 ad nauseum

    I'm not sure who is the worst at serving underage kids with Booze - Offies or supermarkets - but like previous posters I've seen 45yr-olds being IDed in ASDA. Booze IS expensive in this country - and not just in pubs. Ironically it's ONLY the vile White lightening teenager fuel that is reasonably priced. More than enough laws do exist in this country to curb anti-social behaviour and the like - the only possible additional law needed is a "Make parents criminally responsible for their underage kids Bill" - almost unenforceable but that rarely seems to be a consideration these days!

    FFS why are arseholes like this guy given the oxygen of publicity (or even just plain oxygen...), if he looked at the evidence from all over the world he'd notice that:

    a) State run stores don't curb alcoholism, they're just cash-cows for the government

    b) Ever harsher laws with respect to alcohol tend to move the problem around, states with laxer laws tend have less problems because they tend to foster sensible drinking

    c) If he or anyone else thinks that Europe with its so-called café culture doesn't have problems with underage drinking, drunks and alcohol-related violence clearly needs to wake up and smell the puke. In the UK we tend not to have too many Alcohol fuelled Neo-Nazis roaming the city-centre. Ok, so extreme example, but you get the picture (Personal experience from Switzerland since you ask...)

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Australia

    Australia has relatively strict laws on who can sell alcohol and large fines for selling it illegally, it doesn't really make it harder to get.

    More than once when I was under age I had a conversation similar to the following:

    "Can I see some ID please?"

    "ummm...I...don't have it with me....I think I left it...at home...."

    "Oh of course, can you hold your wallet up so the camera behind me can see that I'm checking?"

    <hold out wallet>

    "Thank you, have a nice day"

  65. mh.
    Paris Hilton

    Any chance...

    .....Julian le Grand could get a proper job? As well as this his smokers' licences were going for £200 back in October last year and he wanted employers to provide daily exercise periods. Some people have far too much time on their hands, such as a certain socialite. If he wants to improve people's health, why not go in for something more useful, such as a GP or a personal trainer?

  66. lglethal Silver badge

    Honestly dont mind this

    if its done the aussie way. Basically it just means that supermarkets cordon off a part of the store which is devoted to alcohol. People buying get id checked at the cash register much more often then they would at a regular supermarket counter and prices are cheap as well (or as cheap as they get in aus)...

    Big deal...

    As for raising the price though, i say we stick him up on a pile of wood and have ourselves a good ol fashion Joan of Arc bonfire... Putting up booze prices, what a thought! *shakes head in disbelief*

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go for it!

    I don,t generally agree with anything to do with Labor or its' advisors, but today I do. Double the price of liquor and the only places that sell it should be armor fronted liquor stores that have cards on the shelf that you have to take to the counter to exchange for drink when you have been ID'd and you have paid. These liquor stores should be staffed and run by guys in stained vests who chew tobacco and hate anyone under the age of 25.

    Buying liquor should be like buying porn something most people do from time to time but generally something to be shy about.

  68. Mr Larrington
    Paris Hilton

    @Ed

    "I can't think of any state that doesn't restrict the sale of alcohol somehow"

    As far as I can tell, the way drinkohol is sold in Nevada is pretty much the same as it is in the UK, viz. you can buy whatever you want from a horriblemarket or liquor store as long as you're old enough.

    Paris, coz she can hold her liquor.

  69. druck
    Stop

    Wrong way round

    Booze isn't too cheap, and why should those who sensibly enjoy the odd pint a week be penalised by yet more indiscriminate taxes? The problem is the young have too much money and can afford to binge drink. Solution; get rid of the minimum wage, especially the younger band. That way employers don't have to pay good money to some piss head that spends half of every day nursing a crippling hangover and the other half waiting to knock off to get smashed again.

  70. Jason Togneri
    Boffin

    @ Honestly dont mind this

    Actually, in Estonia that's how it's done - supermarkets have a seperate sort of 'store-in-store' for the alcohol part, and you go through a seperate gate, buy your alcohol, have the bag sealed airport-style, and then exit back into the general supermarket. It's a neat system and it seems to work. Again, it's only strong alcohol (wine, vodka, etc) - <5% beer and cider are still available off the shelf normally.

  71. Cap'n wotsit
    Coat

    Beer in supermarkets

    Here is a thought, as beer - proper beer that is (and I include stout in this because I like a drop of the black stuff) is made with yeast, we could hypothetically class it as a food stuff akin to bread, therefore Supermarkets can stock ales, bitters etc.

    Vodka and poteen is made from (mostly) potatoes, therefore a vegetable product

    ciders and perries are made from apples and pears etc so they could count as fruits (5 a day anyone?)

    so all the supermarkets need do is stop stocking stuff not derived from the above products, and the world is a happy and safe place.

  72. DrXym Silver badge

    @Adam Foxton

    Go into any bar or supermarket in Spain and you'll see multiple brands of non-alcoholic beers. Believe it or not they actually taste quite good.

    Now the reason I suggest selling them is simply because it allows people to enjoy a pint / bottle but still be still not stick out like a sore thumb. And if the bottles are cheaper it might encourage people to buy them over the alcoholic variety.

    I do think alcopops should be discouraged in some way. I don't know how you could define what an alcopop is but slapping some extra duty on them or restricting their flavours or restricting the amount of sugar would certainly make them less attractive to prospective drinkers.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    WTF

    First I couldn't take my dog in the supermarket.

    It took ages to find a bit of string to tie it to a post outside.

    Then they told me I couldn't light up in the supermarket!

    Now they want to stop me from drinking in the supermarket!

    Where else am I going to go to group women? answer me that!

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Honestly dont mind this

    You don't have to go to Oz or Estonia. Supermarkets in N. Ireland have separate areas for alcohol, and separate tills to pay. It used to be the case that separate stores were required (so one of the separate units in a Tesco centre would be the Tesco off-sales) but that was relaxed some years ago.

    It hasn't made the slightest difference that I've noticed, either in terms of drunkenness compared with the UK as a whole, or when they changed from separate stores to store-in-store.

    Why not just enforce the law. Publicans found serving < 18s lose their licenses instantly, <18s found on the streets with alchohol have it taken off them and poured into the nearest drain. For a bit of variety why not try this: If the aforementioned <18s fail a breath test they get taken home and their parents/legal guardians get fined £100 per child/per offence, no excuses accepted.

  75. Marisa
    Stop

    Why is it...

    ... that they think the solution is to raise the price of alcohol?!?!

    If it's CHEAPER ABROAD, yet abroad has less of a drinking problem, does that not tell you that perhaps it's a cultural issue rather than the 'actual' cost of the drink?!? It might even be family related, whereby parents/relatives drink and kids just copy them, as kids do. Not to mention peer pressure! So many other factors are involved that, as usual, the government can only think of focusing on one thing - monetary gain at the tax payer's expense. *grim* *really grim*

    It would be more beneficial to examine the psychological issues behind it all.

    In Italy parents teach their children that, although drinking is ok, excessive drinking is not acceptable/healthy/cool.

    The act of being able to choose the 'right' amount to drink is bred in you from a very young age. Hence, kids don't get to drink until they're of a certain age (this is dependant on each individual's maturity rather than age per se), but at the same time there is NOT A COMPLETE BAN ON IT (that is also wrong)! Parents let them have the odd sip of wine on the very rare occasion and whilst in their presence... always teaching them to respect its effect. The general idea is that you drink to relish the taste of what you're drinking and not to be part of some sort of 'balsy' club where its cool to have had enough balls to pinch a streetcone from the streets (scenes reminiscent of uni!).

    It is NOT COOL to go out clubbing in your miniskirt and be seen falling flat on your face with your legs wide open, whilst completely pissed out of your skull.

    It is NOT COOL to go wondering around the streets beating each other up because of something you may or may not have heard someone say whilst you were completely intoxicated and without the full faculty of thinking/understanding what's going on around you.

    It is NOT COOL to puke all over yourself and then get on the bus so that people have to smell your left overs, when they're perfectly happy breathing the fresh that once used to surround them.

    It is NOT COOL to get in a car whilst under the influence of alcohol and kill or injure someone.

    That's my whinge for the day over now!

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