“Pre-loading” – that is, fuelling up on cheap off-trade alcohol before going on a night out – is often seen as a major factor behind drink-related disorder, and this is used as a justification for increasing the price of drink. Now, I’ve no doubt that a certain amount of pre-loading does take place, but overall it must only account for a tiny proportion of off-trade consumption, so to use that as a reason for an overall price hike seems like punishing the majority for the sins of the minority. And even if the price of a bottle of vodka was raised by 50%, it would still be much cheaper than drinks in the pub.
But I thought it would be interesting to ask readers of this blog whether they ever indulged in pre-loading themselves. The question was “Have you ever “pre-loaded” before going out for a drink?” and there were 72 responses, broken down as follows:
I currently do it often: 4 (6%)
I currently do it occasionally: 8 (11%)
I used to do it often: 5 (7%)
I used to do it occasionally: 9 (12%)
No, never: 46 (64%)
Perhaps a little surprising, given that I always picture most of the readers of this blog as middle-aged blokes, that as many as 17% of respondents claim to currently do it – maybe some of those who gave that answer would like to comment on the circumstances.