Happy hour is a tradition around many parts of the world. Everyone knows what it is, or at least can figure it out. It’s a term bars and restaurants use when they offer alcoholic drinks usually at a discounted price at a prime time in the weekday late afternoon, normally when people are getting off of work. Happy hour normally last longer than just one hour in most cases. It has become almost as customary as some holidays. But for some, happy hour may end up bringing more sad times than happy.
Great Britain is considering a ban on happy hour discounted drinks at bars and restaurants. The move is meant to curb a trend in binge drinking and a rise in liver-related deaths amoung young people. A spokesperson from the British Liver Trust said that they are seeing a steep increase of deaths in people in their 20s and 30s, and it could be a big problem that some say could lead to an epidemic. Alcohol-related deaths of those in the late 20s are also on the rise over the past couple years.
The only problem is that health officials will have to figure out how the discounted drinks that happy hours provide lead to excessive drinking. Banning discounted drinks is only one way officials look to aid the problem. The government also plans to spend millions on advertisement and improve law enforcement against underage drinking. Also under consideration are putting a stop to practices that can come along with happy hours such as drinking games and speed-drinking events. In other locations, Ireland and the city of Glasgow have banned happy hours. In addition here in the United States, some states have state-wide bans on happy hour and the practice has been abolished on military base establishments.
Not for nothin’ but there are close to 60,000 pubs in the United Kingdom, at least one in almost every city, town, village, or neighborhood. Pubs are almost as common as the local church. A former member of Parliament called pubs the heart of England. Only a small percentage of British haven’t been to one, even President Bush’s “life long dream” was to have a drink in a pub. The bad news is, taking away the happy hour has the potential to be damaging, if not to sales then perhaps morale. The good news is, you can still get a good drink anyway, you just have to pay regular price.