A growing phenomenon nowadays is that of the “ostentatious non-drinker” who, in a public setting, makes a point of ordering soft drinks and being seen to do so, hoping to make those degenerates who do have a glass of beer or wine feel vaguely guilty. However, very often he or she is someone who is known to like jugging it back in private.
This can’t do anything to help the pub trade, and I’m convinced a major factor behind it – and the overall movement away from pub to at-home drinking – is the ever-increasing official demonisation of alcohol.
People may not be drinking less in total, but they are much more reluctant to let their image slip by being seen drinking in public, so they compensate by doing it at home where there is nobody around apart maybe from family members to disapprove. Drinking should be a sociable activity, but making people feel bad about it only serves to encourage furtive, solitary tippling.