How round-the-clock drinking did increase binge culture after all (UK)

The Telegraph 3 May 2016
Family First Comment: NZ politicians and the Law Commission also thought things would improve with a ‘continental’ approach to alcohol laws. As we now know, they were also wrong.
The relaxation of licensing hours intended to cut binge drinking in Britain by ushering in a more “continental” approach actually lead to an increase in heavy alcohol consumption, the first study of its kind has shown.
Analysis of official health data by economists found that while average drinking volumes rose only marginally following the extension of opening hours a decade ago, the chances of some people drinking heavily increased dramatically.
The likelihood of drinkers downing almost six pints in a single night surged by 36 per cent after the abolition of the traditional 11pm drinking-up time, the paper presented to the Royal Economic Society found.
And the chances of someone consuming more than 16 units in a night – the equivalent of a bottle and a half of wine – jumped by 29 per cent in the wake of the reforms.
The researchers, from Lancaster University, said the findings could also be linked to worsening physical and mental health for some drinkers.
The study draws on data charting the nation’s drinking habits in 2003 and 2009, directly before and after the licensing changes came into force in late 2005.
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