Vice Squad
Monday, May 30, 2005
Private Vice Controls: Happy Hour Restrictions in Britain

Vice purveyors often choose to institute voluntary regulations that go beyond their legal requirements. (Of course, these moves may not be entirely uncoerced; rather, their adoption might be intended to head off future legislation or litigation.) Last week, the British Beer and Pub Association adopted guidelines that limit most Happy Hour-style promotions. So, in more than half of British pubs, two-for-one offers, for instance, are no more.

Coincidentally, the move came just before a parliamentary debate on anti-social behavior. (Remember those ASBOs?) Somehow, the Association remembered to send a notice of its new policy to all the Members of Parliament.

In Scotland, the Association's move will likely be supplemented (and largely superseded) by a proposed parliamentary measure that will try to undermine Happy Hours by making them last for two days.

Vice Squad noted the Scottish plan in February, and most recently talked of voluntary vice regulation with respect to US liquor advertising.

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