Brits consume less alcohol since Licensing Act

11 October 2007 by
Brits consume less alcohol since Licensing Act

British drinkers have consumed less alcohol since the Licensing Act was updated in 2005, according to new figures compiled by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

The industry body said the statistics, released today, prove that the relaxation of licensing laws has not "unleashed an apocalyptic ‘free for all' in alcohol consumption", as predicted by opposition MPs and the right-wing press.

Brits now consume less alcohol per head than the French, Spanish or Germans and rank 13th in the alcohol consumption league table of the 25 EU countries.

In 2006, the average Briton consumed 8.9 litres of 100% alcohol: a five-year low. In 2005, when the Licensing Act was introduced consumption levels stood at 9.2 litres. In 2004 levels were at a 25-year high of 9.4 litres.

However the average in 1990 was 7.9 litres while the average in 1980 was 7.4 litres.

Mark Hastings, BBPA director of communications, said: "While a small minority continue to use alcohol in an irresponsible way, it's clear that the change in the nation's licensing laws hasn't unleashed an apocalyptic ‘free for all' in alcohol consumption.

"Most people are beginning to heed the responsible drinking message, and we are seeing this clearly in these figures. Clearly with alcohol misuse still an issue, what these figures also emphasise is the importance of policies that target misuse, rather than consumption itself," he added.

The past 25 years have also seen a significant shift in the type of drinks Brits consume. In 1980 60% of alcohol consumed was beer with just 14% wine. On 2006 beer accounted for just 43% of consumption with wine increasing to 29%.

Brown to review Licensing Act >>

New drinking laws cut alcohol fuelled violence >>

Shepherd Neame spends £100,000 on licensing law costs >>

BII takes drinking message to schools >>

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton]( consume less alcohol since Lincensing Act introduction) here.

[The Caterer Blog]( Catch up with more news and gossip on the Caterer Blog here
[Newswire For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail news alerts.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking