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Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to tackle binge drinking among adults. (206022)

The Government take the issue of binge drinking very seriously. In ‘Safe. Sensible. Social. The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy’, the Government set out their plans to tackle binge drinking, particularly focusing on the 18 to 24 age group. The Government are committed to challenging the binge drinking culture through a sustained national campaign to reduce the acceptability of public drunkenness and to increase the awareness of the health harms associated with excessive drinking. The ‘Know Your Limits’ campaign started in June 2008, and aims to raise the public’s knowledge of units of alcohol to ensure that everyone has the information they need to estimate more accurately how much they drink. The Government will also build on the ‘Know Your Limits’ campaign to raise awareness of the risks of harmful drinking, and will target information and advice towards people who drink at harmful levels, and their families and friends.

The Government will also continue to take tough enforcement action against those individuals who exhibit unacceptable behaviour while intoxicated. The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 brought in a range of additional measures to tackle alcohol related crime and disorder, including directions to leave which enable the police to ban a person from a locality for a maximum of 48 hours. The Government have also funded four alcohol arrest referral pilots which target alcohol related offenders with the aim of providing interventions to drive home messages about alcohol and risks and to promote behaviour change. The pilots will be extended to a number of other areas by the end of 2008.