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No simple answer to the issue of drinking.

THERE is much to commend the idea of banning super-strength booze from sale in the city centre.

After all, Suffolk police report a huge fall in the number of alcoholrelated problems since a voluntary scheme was launched there.

And it is plain common sense that the higher the alcohol content in booze, the sooner drinkers are likely to get inebriated and be prone to get into trouble.

Thus it is right that West Midlands Crime Commissioner Bob Jones should seek to start a debate about whether city centre retailers should be asked to stop flogging such drinks here.

Especially since the toll of problem drinking is so obvious - in terms of disorder, crime and health.

But hold on. No-one should see a ban on high-strength booze as anything but a single approach to a complex problem.

What, for instance, is to stop those intent on getting smashed out of their heads going elsewhere to buy their booze? What, for instance, is to stop drunks simply necking back more of the softer stuff to get out of their skulls? What is needed is a massive change in attitude towards drink, so that heavy boozing is no longer viewed as normal and routine but something damaging and odd.

In short, we Brits need to grow up in our attitude to a tipple.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 9, 2013
Previous Article:We must protect the freedom of the press.

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