A study from Lancaster University Management School has shown that since pubs and bars were allowed to extend drinking time, hundred of young people have been spared death and serious injury as a result. Since the law was changed in 2005 to allow drinking beyond the previous 11.0 pm curfew, the number of road crashes fell by 13 percent, or 1,643 a month. The most dramatic reduction was among young people aged 18-25, with a 33 percent fall recorded on Friday and Saturday nights, and many fewer of them suffering death or serious injury.
The obvious explanation is that people are drinking over a longer period instead of rushing to beat the 11.0 pm closing time. Instead of large numbers being on the roads together, their journeys are spread out. It has also been suggested that people plan evenings anticipating late drinks with a taxi at the end of it, rather than downing a few quick ones and driving home. It could also be that people are less inebriated because their drinking is spread out over a longer period.
The anti-alcohol lobby, which basically opposes all drinking, will probably go into meltdown at this news, and will doubtless produce utterly bogus statistics (widely exposed as fraudulent) about what they call “alcohol-related” incidents. No doubt we’ll be told that the health consequences of the extra drinking facilitated by the extended hours, easily outweigh the lives and serious injuries saved on the roads. But for now let’s celebrate that a sensible piece of legislation has achieved the results it was designed to, and let’s be happy for the hundreds of youngsters whose lives have not been abruptly ended or seriously impaired. We can all drink to that. Cheers!
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