Britain Bans Happy Hour

Happy hours and other drinking promotions have been banned in the UK in hopes of cutting down on binge brinking.

Pubs call time on happy hour to block binge drinking (Times of London)

The historic tradition of “happy hour” came to an end at thousands of pubs today with an industry-led ban on irresponsible drink promotions. The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), which represents 32,000 of the nation’s 59,000 pubs, has outlawed cheap alcohol sales including drink-all-you-can schemes, amid growing concerns about Britain’s binge-drinking culture. David Blunkett threatened pub owners with statutory intervention 12 months ago when he was Home Secretary, after a 14 per cent rise in alcohol-fuelled violence.

The BBPA’s announcement of its tough new policy comes as Parliament begins to debate Home Office policies outlined in the Queen’s Speech today. Mark Hastings, a BBPA spokesman, said: “Offers like pay £10 on the door and all drinks are free, drinking games and schemes that encourage people to drink too much too quickly have no place in our sector and we are determined to stamp them out. He said: “Responsible promotions do have an important role to play in a pub business and are in the interests of consumers. Irresponsible promotions damage the reputation of the sector, drive down quality and standards and have no place in a well-managed licensed business. “I don’t think it’s a silver bullet solution but it will certainly have an impact.”

Indeed, I predict that no one will get drunk in the UK ever again.

Sheesh. First naked sushi, now this. If they ban midget tossing, there’s hardly a reason to go on living.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Michael says:

    I’d bet a million bucks that “all-you-can-eat” restaurants are more of a health hazard than happy hours.

  2. M. Murcek says:

    When turkey bowling is outlawed, only outlaws will bowl with turkeys…

  3. Demosophist says:

    They’re holding out for a “happy fortnight.” I know how these people think. My people (The Welsh) have been tossing rocks at them for thousands of years. Well, first we get stinking blind drunk, and then we toss rocks.