Monday, 8 October 2007

Spy in the pub

The licensed trade seems to be under attack from all sides at the moment, the latest being a scheme to put undercover cops in pubs to catch bar staff serving drunks.

Now the law already says that drunks should not be served, and any responsible pub won’t serve anyone who is staggering around and incapable of coherent speech. But the risk is that, in the absence of any clear legal definition, this campaign will be used to target people who by any normal definition are merely “merry”. And it seems particularly unfortunate to be running it over the Christmas period when many pubgoers will be letting their hair down a bit more than normal.

Are we heading for a situation where simply going out for a drink is no longer acceptable, and the only form of alcohol consumption that is tolerated outside the house is having a couple of small drinks with a meal – provided, of course, that you won’t be driving in the next fortnight?

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