The Wessex Scene can reveal that pubs and clubs will soon have the option to serve smaller alcoholic drinks, as part of a government strategy to tackle Britain’s drinking levels.
The rules will apply to a wide range of alcohol, including wine, cider and lager, and ‘will represent one of the most radical shake-ups of the pint by an Act of Parliament in 1698’, according to the national press. An example of one of the new, smaller measurements is the ‘Australian schooner’, two-thirds of a pint. The rules are reported to be implemented ‘in four months’ time’. David Willetts, Science Minister, says that ‘fixed quantities [will be]kept – but with greater flexibility’ in terms of choice.
Such a system whereby smaller quantities of alcohol can be sold is a potential solution to Britain’s drinking problem. Worryingly, ‘UK drinkers reguarly top polls as the heaviest alcohol consumers in Europe’. Furthermore, the University of Southampton is sometimes seen to have a bad reputation when it comes to drinking, an issue that has, for example, been joked about on BBC programme University Challenge.
Despite this, do students agree with the new system, whereby wine will be able to be bought in less than 75 ml quantities? Will the smaller quantities make a difference in terms of Southampton students’ drinking habits? Considering recent uproar caused by student nightclub Sobar’s decision to discontinue the quadvod drink, it seems unlikely.