Vice Squad
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Happy Hours to Become Happy Two Days in Scotland?

A not uncommon approach to fight binge drinking is to regulate "happy hour"-style promotions at bars. In Scotland, there has been some sentiment to introduce minimum prices for alcoholic beverages, but that approach might not survive court challenge. As an alternative, Scottish Ministers intend to outlaw reduced price specials that last less than 48 hours. The idea is that (1) pubs will not be so eager to cut drink prices if they know the prices have to stay low for two days, and (2) drinkers will not be so eager to buy and consume alcohol quickly, because they will be less likely to face the imminent threat of higher prices. An experiment along these lines, requiring 24-hour price discounts, has been underway in Glasgow.

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