Pubs Encourage Responsible Drinking?

Ireland’s National Substance Misuse Strategy, published this month, argues that pubs, unlike drinking in sequestered environments, can encourage responsible drinking behavior.

An article about the report, published by the Irish Times, claims that supermarket alcohol bolsters binge drinking because of its accessibility and low cost. Pubs encourage responsibility because of the communal atmosphere and cost that are associated with consuming in public. The article quotes Dr. Joe Barry, head of the department of public health at Trinity College Centre for Health Sciences, who argues,

The real difficulty…is cheap drink in supermarkets. It appeals particularly to young people and those dependent on alcohol. Because drink in a pub is dearer, you’ll do yourself less damage there for the same amount of money spent.

Read the full article here.


3 Responses to “Pubs Encourage Responsible Drinking?”

  1.» Blog Archive » Pubs Encourage Responsible Drinking? Says:

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  2. Edwin Bonilla Says:

    I think that pubs do encourage responsible drinking because it is an environment where people who don’t drink responsibly can be chastised. In addition, alcohol is more expensive at pubs so there’s a reduced chance of a person getting drunk. Stores which sell cheap beer add to the problem of problems associated with alcohol abuse. Ireland should better regulate alcohol sold in stores.

  3. Ajax the Great Says:

    Edwin, you are probably right. It reminds me of this bar I went to when I was in college and underage in the early 2000s. It was the only bar in town that had a deal with the cops that raids would be announced, so on non-raid weekends (most of them, as there were only 1 or 2 raids per semester) they let in plenty of people that they knew were under 21 as long as their IDs were “chalked” with colored pencil to alter the date of birth (just as a formality). But they took great pains to keep nonstudents under 18 from entering. Thus, that bar was effectively an oasis from the 21 drinking age, with a de-facto drinking age of 18.

    I discovered this fact in my sophomore year when I was 19 (before that I simply went to parties), and many of my friends discovered it in their freshman year at 18. I noticed that the atmosphere was not as wild as it was at some of the frat parties despite many of the same faces, and that almost everyone behaved themselves pretty well despite the massive crowds and fairly cheap drink specials. No one would want to jeopardize access to their only watering hole in town. The few occasional troublemakers, on the other hand, were virtually always over 21. And overall there seemed to be fewer fights and other misbehavior at that bar than at some of the other bars in town where the 21 drinking age was tightly enforced.

    Flash forward to when I turned 21 and could go to any bar in town, I really didn’t go all that crazy with it since bars were really not much of a novelty by that point. Except perhaps for the first few weeks after my birthday, I really didn’t drink significantly more at 21 or 22 than I did at 19-20.

    Thus, in my experience the article appears to be spot on, especially for young adults.