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Ban the 'Booze Bombs'?

Paul Fielding - Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Herald Sun published an article titled ‘Ban the Booze Bombs’ in Tuesday’s (7/12) paper. It stated that in attempt to curb alcohol fueled violence in Melbourne's streets, drinks such Jagerbombs and Vodka Redbulls would be banned. Here's what I think:

I don’t believe banning these ‘Booze Bombs’ will do anything to curb the out of control binge drinking culture, not just in Melbourne, but Australia wide.

I’ve been both frequenting and involved in managing hotels and clubs in Australia’s capital cities for over 10 years, and it took a recent overseas trip through Europe and Asia (including 'boozy hotspots' Germany, Holland, the UK and Thailand) to see that it’s not any different combination of alcoholic or ‘poly-drug’ drinks, or Australia’s insipid ability to follow responsible service laws (another issue all together!), but a severe cultural difference that exists in our binge drinking habits.

No where else in over 20 countries did I experience any agro, macho or alpha-male behaviour (the kind you’ll find in any Aussie pub at ANY time of day)- in fact I barely even remember seeing a security guard in any of their packed venues. The vibe was always fun and cheerful, and patrons were generally far more intoxicated than you’ll find here, even at 3am in Melbourne on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

The difference in these countries is that alcohol culture centres around relaxing and having a genuinely good time- not getting as hammered as possible, in the smallest amount of time possible, and going out with twenty mates seeking trouble. Until our culture towards binge drinking changes, taking away certain drinks will have the same effect as taking the gun off a hitman- he’ll use a knife instead.


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