Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bars: They ply you with liquor, they take your money & then they kick you out!

Excessive consumption of alcohol will ultimately get you drunk.........a pretty simplistic, visionary assessment made by my goodself, I am sure you will all agree.

As the Government bring up the habitual 'binge drinking' monthly debate, an alcohol concern organization are probably at the same time raising concerns regarding the price of booze in supermarkets, whilst a Doctor somewhere releases his latest dissertation on 'drinking in moderation' & a local council witters on that 'happy hours' in certain establishments are irresponsible.

I cannot possibly be the only person who feels bar owners & their employees, whether they be managerial sorts, bar staff or doorman alike have a responsibility themselves to look after their clientele & it's about time they acknowledged that fact sooner rather than later. They should stop believing they are above & beyond the law when it comes to the consumption of alcohol by any individual in a..........well 'licenced' drinking establishment actually!

How is it then that as long as you can reach into your pocket, grasp hold of some legal tender & order a drink in a semi-coherent manner you are then allowed to continue to do so over & over again - until you reach the point where you have your collar felt as you find yourself being escorted out of the licensed premises by some meat-head, wearing a black suit, a crisp white shirt and depending on the repute of the establishment, possibly even a dickie bow too.

Now I am not going to try & justify the drinking of alcohol to excess to anyone, either from a medical or a moral perspective, but what intrigues me is how one is so easily permitted to consume enough alcohol to sink a battleship in the first place!

Once I have had several jars of my favourite tipple I no longer care what damage I am doing to my liver & I have no desire whatsoever to stop drinking because I have gone past the so-called point of no return.
The worse for wear I maybe, but that does not stop the bartender from continuing to re-fill my glass.
The management have absolutely no intention of stopping me from drinking even more, provided I keep emptying my own & lining their pockets with hard cash.

And here come the pièce de résistance........inevitably one will come a cropper at some stage of proceedings, whether it's spilling yours or someone else's drink, accidentally bumping into a fellow patron, using inappropriate language or simply hitting the canvas like a pummelled boxer.

Once down the nearest exit beckons as a suited testosterone fuelled doorman plus radio & biceps the size of the average thigh dispatches you unceremoniously into the gutter, possibly minus a shoe & definitely with ones dignity in tatters!

Recently I was enjoying drinks in a local bar with some pals after spending the afternoon at a South London football stadium when one of us was 'thrown out' quite literally, for being 'intoxicated' ( but without any prior warning, not even a quiet word in the ear).

Bars should spend a bit more time man-managing, not man-handling its punters in an effort to prevent people getting ridiculously drunk in the first place!

Also they should take responsibility when their venue has stood back & watched their own punters get into a drunken stupor in the first place.

There is also an element of risk or even danger about leaving someone intoxicated & alone outside a drinking venue.

They may in addition to the typical behavioural anomalies associated with being drunk, such as being unstable on their feet be in a potentially vulnerable situation.

If for example they are left out in the dark of the night, are unfamiliar with the area, are inappropriately dressed for the weather or have a medical condition unbeknown to others - any of these predicaments could potentially lead to serious consequences. And what about if they are female clientele?

It’s about time watering holes had a long hard think about ways of controlling the amount of alcohol they allow to be consumed by drinkers, kept their eyes out for customers heading down the slippery slope before they finally fall off their bike & consider what could happen should they feel it necessary to remove someone from their premises & the implications that it might cause!

Prevention & detection are better than correction!

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