All-you-can-drink deals scrutinized

One London-area chain draws line at speed drinking

Feb 3, 2003 - The growing number of all-you-can-drink promotions in London-area establishments have come under new legislative scrutiny.


British officials are increasingly concerned about the link between binge-drinking and anti-social behavior, and have pledged to implement a comprehensive alcohol harm-reduction strategy by spring 2004.

The Independent newspaper recently took a closer look at bars such as Tivoli's nightspot in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, which offers unlimited alcohol until the 2 a.m. closing time, for 15 (men) and 10 (women). A notice above the bar says: "Persons showing signs of severe intoxication will not be served with alcohol."

Owner Neil Wheeler acknowledged ripped wallpaper by saying there is no point in renovating it's a drinking hole.

"It's a cheap and easy way for people to go out, so we get a lot of the same people," he said. "But rules are strict, and if someone gets carried away, we put him 'on cork'."

Research published later this year will reveal the average age for children taking their first drink is just over 12, and a third of teenagers say they drink at least 10 units of alcohol in a typical weekend drinking session. These findings come from Alcohol Concern and the National Addiction Centre, which carried out the first in-depth study of alcohol use among 15- to 16-year-olds, interviewing 540 teenagers from schools in southern England about their drinking habits over a period of 18 months.

The Chicago Rock Cafe clubs also run all-you-can drink promotions.

But the company said it prohibited speed drinking, the practice of quickly downing drinks lined up at the bar.

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