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Charge inoperable.

SIR - Having spent too much time in the company of drunks at hospital Accident and Emergency departments, I empathise with your Porthcawl correspondent Idris Berry.

Although praiseworthy, his proposals to charge drunkards for their care there are impractical. How would hospitals deal with those 'merry' after a good night out but having previously taken the sensible precaution of arranging transport, rather than driving, if their vehicle through no fault of their own, met an accident?

What about those whose condition makes them appear drunk?

What happens with those who willingly participate in risky recreational and sporting activities?

How does A&E treat failed suicides who have used alcohol to swill down tablets?

Unless legislation is radically amended, all recovery of costs by Attachment of Earnings Orders would have to follow a Civil Court claim.

Far better to strengthen police presence at Casualty and perhaps the new Community Support Officers could have an important role there.

GARETH EVANS

Castle Buildings, Treforest, Pontypridd
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 8, 2005
Words:161
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