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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 00:07 GMT
New laws 'won't affect drinking'
Revellers on a night out
Newsbeat believes the survey is the biggest of its kind
Nearly 70% of young drinkers believe new extended licensing laws will not affect the amount of alcohol they consume, according to a BBC survey.

In total, 29% say they will drink more and 2% less when the laws, which could see some pubs opening for 24 hours a day, come into force on Thursday.

The government hopes they will lead to more civilised drinking with less bingeing and less late-night trouble.

The online questionnaire for Radio 1 Newsbeat was answered by 11,367 people.

Under the new Licensing Act, premises can apply to extend their opening hours beyond 11pm, possibly enabling them to stay open for 24 hours a day.

The survey also found that 42% of respondents had been caught up in violence during a night out drinking, while 45% said they had had unprotected sex as result of being drunk.

'Astonishing response'

The findings suggest that young men aged between 18 and 24 drink the most - with more than half drinking 16 units or more on a night out.

Younger respondents were the most likely to drink more as a result of later opening hours, with 45% of 16 and 17-year-olds anticipating an increase.

Editor of Radio 1 Newsbeat Rod McKenzie said the response had been "astonishing" and made the study "we believe, the largest survey of young drinkers into the new licensing laws".

The survey also found that 41% of those drinking more than 20 units on an average Friday or Saturday expected to drink more as a result of extended opening hours.

In addition, 71% of those who consume more than 20 units had been caught up in violence, compared with just 19% of those who drink up to five units.

Of those who answered, 61% were male, while 18 to 24-year-olds were the largest age group (54%), followed by 25 to 29-year-olds (23%) 30 years and above (15%) and lastly 16 to 17-year-olds (8%).

The six-question, multiple-choice survey ran on the Radio 1 Newsbeat website from 3 November to 16 November.




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