Page last updated at 01:46 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 02:46 UK

Binge-drinking 'well-established' in north-west England

Man drinking beer
Drinkers in Liverpool, Manchester and Chester were questioned

One in 10 people on a night out plan to binge-drink, a study in the north-west of England has found.

Researchers from Liverpool John Moores University questioned more than 200 drinkers in Manchester, Liverpool and Chester on Friday and Saturday nights.

Ten per cent of them said they planned to drink more than 40 units of alcohol by the time they went home.

Mark Bellis, who led the study, said the UK had an "established culture of heavy drinking in nightlife settings".

Researchers carried out a series of interviews, breath tests and assessments of their subjects' levels of drunkenness, such as slurred speech and ability to walk.

When interviewed, half the people said they were drunk and just over half (51%) of those planned to carry on drinking.

From the overall sample, 80% said they intended to drink more before returning home, with one in 10 (15% of men and 4% of women) believing their total alcohol intake would be more than 40 units before going to sleep.

'Little information'

At the time of the interview, one in five men (20%) and 21% of women had already drunk more than their weekly recommended alcohol intake (21 units for men and 14 for women).

More than one in five men (21%) were expecting to have been drinking for more than 12 hours by the time they returned home.

Researchers found that drinking at home before a night out and drinking later into the night "may be associated with higher levels of drunkenness in city centres."

They also noted that drinkers who planned to stay out due to extended opening hours were the ones intending to drink the most.

Professor Bellis said: "The UK has a well-established culture of heavy drinking in nightlife settings.

"Despite this, there is relatively little information available on drunkenness, with laws restricting sales of alcohol to drunk individuals being largely ignored.

"Cities in the UK have adopted costly nightlife policing strategies aimed at protecting patrons from immediate alcohol-related harms by controlling violence and other anti-social behaviour.

"Implementing safety measures in nightlife environments is crucial to protecting public health, yet without reasonable efforts to reduce nightlife alcohol consumption, such measures may simply result in safer environments for drunks."



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