Brits May Ban Free Drinks to Slow Staggering Booze Problem

Health warnings may replace ladies' night
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 13, 2008 7:53 AM CDT
Bars may have to post explicit alcohol health warnings in new requirements being considered byt the British health department.   (©Dan4th)
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(Newser) – The British government is considering banning the bar tradition of free drinks for women and other measures to combat the overwhelming problem of public drunkenness, the Guardian reports. Explicit alcohol health warnings in pubs and a ban on drinking games may also be enacted. Drinks should not be promoted as a way of enhancing an individual's "social, sexual, mental, or sporting performance," warned a document issued by the health department.

Three years ago Britain began to allow bars to remain open for 24 hours in the belief that it would discourage binge drinking by patrons with too little time to drink responsibly—but the strategy failed. Bar owners reacted angrily to the likelihood of more regulation. "It's government's role to support business, not send in a wrecking crew," said a spokesman for a pub association.