http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 84,00.html
City tries to ban drinkers from standing at the bar
By Alan Hamilton
IT SHOULD be patently obvious. The principal drawback to vertical drinking is the danger of vertical falling over into horizontal befuddlement.
Police in Preston, Lancashire, think it is not as simple as that. Vertical drinking, they believe, is one of the country’s main causes of public disorder and would like to see it banned in the city’s pubs.
Vertical drinking is a new term for what used to be called standing at the bar, long regarded as the natural refuelling posture. Sixteen pints of lager slip into the tanks much more easily when the gullet is erect rather than kinked by the body being squeezed into a chair like a half-shut penknife. Drinking while standing in a like-minded group, police argue, is a contributor to booze-fuelled violence.
When the mindless nerd next to you knocks the pint out of your hand, it’s much easier to go for him directly than having to get out of a chair to punch his lights out.
Backed by the local NHS primary care trust, Preston police want a “no standing” drinking rule imposed on the city by the autumn; they want customers to be served only if they have a seat.
The latest attempt to infringe libertarian drinkers’ rights will be compounded next year when England imposes a no-smoking rule in pubs, forcing drinkers on to the pavement for a fag. The opportunities for violence could be immense.
Police in Preston already have an alcohol harm reduction and prevention team. Sergeant Andy Hobson, the team’s alcohol project manager, said: “If people are sat down there is less potential for flashpoints than with vertical drinking. This is not designed so much to affect the amount they drink; it is the proximity of other people when you are stood up, which is where the problems can start.
“People go into these places and crowd round the bars, then the next you know somebody gets a push, the pint goes over and that’s it.”
Publicans have dismissed the scheme as impractical. Ryan Wood, manager of Yates’s pub, said: “They have completely missed the point. If anything it is going to cause more friction because people are not going to like being told to sit down every five minutes. It’s almost impossible to enforce.”
There is only one incontrovertible advantage to addling the brain with alcohol while seated. It’s less far to fall