"We should turn a blind eye to underage drinking in pubs"

(56 Posts)
Bogeyface Mon 30-Sep-13 22:33:10

As said last night by an old mate of ours who has been running pubs since Noah was a boy.

He backed this up by saying that people my age (40 eek!) snuck into pubs with either our fake ID or too much make up and a veneer of confidence, and learned how to drink. We learned how to behave in pubs when we were too poor to get plastered, we learned what alcohol did to us, and by the time we were 18 it was nothing new. He said he preferred to have a few 15/16 year olds having a pint that lasted all night than what he has now which is brand new legal drinkers absolutely hammering it and getting totally off their faces every weekend. He blames the clamp down on underage drinking for a lot of the binge drinking that goes on now, because kids at 18 have more money and freedom than those a couple of years younger, often they are away at Uni, so have nothing stopping them from getting battered.

My first reaction was "Dont talk crap!" but then I thought about it, and I think that he may have a point. I know a lot of parents who dont allow their children to drink at home until 18, which mystifies the whole thing and again, doesnt allow them to learn in a safe environment.

AIBU to think that he may be right in that our underage sneaking into pubs stopped us from ending up in the paper with our knickers around our ankles in a puddle of our own piss?

I agree. If teens want to drink they will, so it's not a choice of them drinking in a pub or not drinking at all - really the choice is the park or the pub.

I like the sound of the German system someone outlined upthread although I'm not sure clubs are the right places.

Maybe pubs could apply for a special licence to serve 16-17 y/o's weaker alcoholic drinks - those that did happy hours or 2-for-1 shots would not be the sort of places that would be granted licences. They would also be expected to strictly abide by the not serving drunk people (of any age) rule.

I can't see many teens being able to afford pub prices though.

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 01-Oct-13 21:16:28

Something which has changed since my younger days is the extent to which people drink spirits. I would like to see spirits become a lot less prevalent.

In reply to RealAleandOpenFires what I would prefer to see is:

- no alcohol stronger than say 15% by volume to be sold - ie no shots, any spirits to be well diluted
- any alcohol stronger than say 6% to be sold in wine glass size measures with the largest glass size being 150ml
- any licencee caught serving the seriously drunk risks losing their licence very quickly

Establishments following the above would be allowed to serve alcohol to anyone over the age of 16.

Establishments wishing to serve stronger drinks would be required to obtain a different licence and would have to have a door policy which excluded drinkers under the age of 21. These establishments would also have a presumed responsibility for anyone who had been drinking on the premises and who had to be dealt with by Police/hospital afterwards. This would be a 'last drink' policy. Wherever a drunk had obtained their final drink would have some responsibility for the mayhem their clientele caused.

Lisavarna Tue 01-Oct-13 21:15:58

I really am not sure on this one.

There is a pile of medically accepted research now which wasnt around when i was a teenager (the 80's) which states clearly that the effect of exessive alcohol on the brain of teenagers is quite damaging, in that it can interrupt and hinder that proper development, leading to permanent damage which manifests itself as a kind of emotional immaturity and arrested development.

There seems to be physical and psychological damage there as a result of alcohol specifially to the teenagers developing brain. This would worry me. I like the idea of being all liberal and french about allowing my soon to be teenagers to drink, but then this research makes me stop and think twice about that.

ILikeBirds Tue 01-Oct-13 20:59:38

Incidentally I was in a bar the other day and I saw a sign saying Hoopers Hooch was back!!

ILikeBirds Tue 01-Oct-13 20:56:21

When i was 16 the local police stated that they preferred underage teenagers in the pubs drinking where reasonable behaviour was expected than out on the streets drinking with nobody keeping an eye on them. The latter lead to far more trouble than the former. This was about 18 years ago.

I wouldn't say there was any pretence though. We had sixth form socials from age 16 held in a pub with teachers in attendance and everyone drinking well aware that just about everyone was underage. The pub nearest our school would serve teenagers in school uniform!

FortyDoorsToNowhere Tue 01-Oct-13 20:33:35

at 16 i was earning £140 per week. I used to go out and get hammered.

Perhaps 18-16 should have a 2 drink rule in pubs and if the bouncers think you have been drinking no entry.

thewhitequeen Tue 01-Oct-13 20:22:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

harticus Tue 01-Oct-13 19:24:36

I don't get what is happening these days. Where is the pleasure in getting tanked up on cheap vodka before you even go out?
Twatty is absolutely right - the drinking was always secondary to just being sociable with mates when I was young.

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Tue 01-Oct-13 19:11:25

YANBU. I too was going out from age 15. We drank on the street corners before that for a while and we were much safer in the pubs. The landlord of one place actually made an announcement saying as such one week after the Police paid him a visit.

We'd have a few drinks, have a dance and get the bus home at 11:10. By 16-18 when we did A Levels at college we progressed to proper clubs, but it was very rare for any of us to get so battered we were ill.

Some of my uni mates didn't have the same experience and drank only to get drunk, I still find this most odd 15 years later.

Twattybollocks Tue 01-Oct-13 19:01:35

Billybanter, you are absolutely right, as long as it is seen as seen as cool and normal to get puking drunk in town several nights a week, this unhealthy relationship will continue. Drinking should be used to relax and help you enjoy the evening, these days, it seems to be that drinking is the whole point of the evening. I think that's where the problem lies. We no longer go out with our friends and have a drink, we go out drinking with friends.

BillyBanter Tue 01-Oct-13 16:43:19

The UK's unhealthy relationship with alcohol is not caused by underage kids getting into pubs and won't be solved by stopping underage kids getting into pubs.

YouTheCat Tue 01-Oct-13 16:37:23

I agree, Bogey.

Dd is 18 and I've been letting her have a drink for a while plus wine if we go out for a meal from age 16.

She is well pissed off though. I got her a citizen card as ID as it is part of the PASS scheme and it turns out loads of places won't accept it even though it comes from the bloody stupid Home Office and has her picture on it. Waste of money.

Our 6th form discos were at the local rugby club and alcohol was served. There were teachers there and no one was allowed to get pissed.

TheCrackFox Tue 01-Oct-13 16:31:13

Dover = sober. I really should proof read before posting.

TheCrackFox Tue 01-Oct-13 16:30:12

I completely agree.

I would rather my boys had a couple of drinks in the pub were the Dover bar staff can keep an eye on them than down the park posses or as high as a kite.

We used too have a sensible approach to this but in the past 10yrs we seem to going the American way (completely neurotic) regarding drinking.

NoComet Tue 01-Oct-13 16:08:03

Because my 13-18 drinking was all done in cheap Welsh pubs and village dance bars I didn't think university booze was cheap at all. I stayed in my flat and had mates round for tea and toast.

It was the, supposedly, streetwise students from London who got totally rat arsed and threw up everywhere. I lived with a couple. They behaved like they were 16 at best.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Tue 01-Oct-13 13:45:26

I disagree completely.

Partly because I didn't have that experience. We went into pubs/clubs from about 15 and got plastered. We'd get the cheapest drinks (and a pint is on average quite a bit stronger than it was 20/30 years ago), and we'd pester people to buy them for us, and so on.

I don't think we learned how to handle alcohol any better than the people who never drank until they were 18 (or 21, as I know plenty of Americans).

I have a problem with it in that I think it normalizes a booze culture, especially for university, so you don't actually learn to do normal stuff like socializing sober as well as you might have done. I know I sound like a massive killjoy and I doubt anyone is ever going to completely stop 15 year olds boozing illicitly, but I don't really believe that underage drinking is particularly brilliant to encourage either.

PresidentServalan Tue 01-Oct-13 13:05:11

Totally agree - when we drank in pubs we had to behave - now towns are full of kids getting hammered and shouting at people.

SeaSickSal Tue 01-Oct-13 09:47:21

I also agree. And I think 15/16 year olds having their first drink somewhere were they know they have to behave or be kicked out is also a good thing. I did it when I was younger.

I think having a sneaky few in pub is far preferable to getting someone to buy you a bottle of cider and getting smashed in a park.

ShabbyButNotChic Tue 01-Oct-13 08:10:35

Yanbu. I was out drinking from 15. I was always tall and had massive knockers so never got asked for id. We never caused bother as we didnt want to draw attention to ourselves, so landlords didnt mind.

At the local pub i go to there is a main room then a smaller side room. It is well known that the side room is the underage bit. Referred to as 'the playroom' smile landlord knows they are all 16/17 but as long as they are quiet and dont start fights etc he lets them in. Us old ones put them in their place if we need to. There are a lot of 40/50 year old blokes that drink there who wouldnt think twice about throwing them out if they played up.

Id rather them be in the pub having a few pints and playing pool than drinking cider on a park bench tbh

vvviola Tue 01-Oct-13 08:01:09

I always thought the German system had it's merits. At the nightclubs I went to the system was:
ID at door, irrespective of age.
16 - 18 yo gets one colour wristband (pink say) and ID is kept
18+ gets different wristband.

16 - 18 only served soft drinks or beer (possibly wine too, not 100% sure)

At midnight, under 18s have to leave. 10 minute warning given. ID cards collected on way out.

I was told if you didn't leave when supposed to, you were summoned over the intercom, and if you still didn't come they called your parents/the police but I'm not sure whether that happened in reality or if it was just my German friends pulling my leg grin

HeySoulSister Tue 01-Oct-13 07:41:03

Landlady of our village local used to let us use the pool room sometimes. Happy days. Pool table, boys and the jukebox. In a grown up environment with that lovely beer smell.

I agree bogeyface

livinginwonderland Tue 01-Oct-13 07:12:54

I went to the pub regularly from 15-16 (and this would have been 2004/5). Our pub didn't ID and although I'm pretty sure they knew we were underage, we never caused problems and they never asked for proof of age or threw us out.

But, I still got ridiculously drunk when I got my A-level results (when I was 18 and legal to drink) and a few times at university before I learnt my lesson. I don't drink much now - maybe on a Friday night or if DP and I go out for dinner, but drinking at 15/16 in the pub didn't stop me getting stupidly drunk when I was legal.

StitchingMoss Tue 01-Oct-13 07:09:48

Totally agree - dread the thought my boys will be drinking in parks when they're older rather than in a pub where they would be forced to behave and would be watched by adults.

MrsLouisTheroux Tue 01-Oct-13 07:06:13

This thread has made me think. I started going in pubs when I was 15 and drank a couple of pints throughout the night. More as I got older - spirits etc. We were limited to what we could afford and were sort of supervised by arsey landlord types who never put up with any c**p.
We never drank at home before going out, our parents would never have bought us anything from the off licence and we were too young to buy it ourselves.
So yes OP, I get his point but teenagers seems to have money nowadays and some parents seem happy to allow them to get plastered at home or before they even go out.
I blame Alcopops (seriously) !

CrohnicallyLurking Tue 01-Oct-13 07:05:47

Makes sense. Like many others I was drinking in pubs (and clubs!) from around 15 and never got into any trouble. The few times I got plastered was after drinking at someone else's house.

Mind you, I had been drinking the odd beer at family barbecues, or glass of wine with dinner since around 13.

When I went to uni, it was a revelation how many 18 year olds had clearly never been let off the lead before, and their main objection was to get as drunk as possible as often as possible.

Thewhitequeen- we had the same at our school leaver's do. The majority of us were 16 so the teachers arranged for glasses of wine to be served with our meal. But some kids managed to sneak into the bar next door and get served pints, the teachers just rolled their eyes, and when they 'checked' us for alcohol didn't seem to notice that some of the boys had their hands behind their backs!

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