24-hour opening cuts booze consumption

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol consumption, Alcoholic beverage, Bbpa

24-hour opening cuts booze consumption
UK alcohol consumption in 2006 fell for the second year running, according to the BBPA

Extended pub opening hours has led to a drop in alcohol consumption.

The news will come as a firm rebuttal to the likes of the Daily Mail​ who predicted the country would be over run by booze fuelled mayhem when flexible hours were introduced.

It's clear that the change in the nation's licensing laws hasn't unleashed an apocalyptic free for all​Mark Hastings, BBPA

The fall of 3.3% in 2006 is the largest in 15 years and follows a 2% drop in 2005.

The amount we drink is now 8.9 litres per person per year, compared with 9.4 litres in 2004.

"While a small minority continue to use alcohol in an irresponsible way, it's clear that the change in the nation's licensing laws hasn't unleashed an apocalyptic free for all in alcohol consumption,"​ said British Beer and Pub Association director of communications Mark Hastings.

"Since the Licensing Act, we have seen a noticeable drop in consumption.

"Contrary to perceptions, the amount we drink as a nation is falling."

There have also been significant shifts in what people drink over the past 25 years.

Beer now accounts for 43% of consumption, compared to 20% for spirits and 29% for wine. In 1990, beer was 57%, spirits 22% and wine 18%.

"Most people are beginning to heed the responsible drinking message, and we are seeing this clearly in these figures.

"The figures also show that 12 other countries in the European Union drink more than we do in the UK.

"These hard facts contradict the popular perception. We are not the worst - and it is not getting worse."

The figures are included in the BBPA's new Statistical Handbook 2007 and are based on data from HM Revenue & Customs.

Related topics: Professional Services & Utilities

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