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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 14:17 GMT
Extra time for New Year revellers
Beer glasses
Alcoholic drinks will be served for 36 hours
Revellers celebrating the New Year will be able to indulge in a 36-hour drinking session at one Cardiff pub after it was given a special licence.

Magistrates granted extra time to The Lounge bar in St Mary Street in the city after the licensee made a special application.

When people know venues are going to close at a certain time, they tend to get drunk very quickly

Paul Davies, The Lounge

The pub, which already holds a licence for late night drinking until 0100 GMT, is the first in the capital to be allowed to stay open.

Paul Davies, who runs the pub, said the licence will help control binge drinking.

"When people know venues are going to close at a certain time, they tend to get drunk very quickly," he said.

"At least with this licence, people know that the place isn't going to close while they are still enjoying themselves.

"I know that a lot of other licensees of venues around Cardiff have been waiting to see if our application was granted.

"I suspect that many more will be applying for the extended licence after hearing about our success," he added.

Drinks generic
This is the first special licence granted in Cardiff

Mr Davies said that he has already sold out of entry tickets for his pub for New Year's Eve.

"People knew that we were applying for the licence and now that is has been granted it is an added bonus," he said.

Rod Luscombe, from South Wales Legal Service who submitted the application for Mr Davies said that during the Millennium celebrations, the government allowed a 36-hour deregulation of licensing laws.

He said many licensees were waiting for a similar announcement for this year, but were unhappy with the wait and were applying to magistrates instead.

Education

"It's a little unfair because while some magistrates will now grant this sort of licence, others won't," said Mr Luscombe.

"We hope the government will sort out the issue of licensing quickly now," he added.

A spokeswoman for Alcohol Concern said that the charity was more concerned with educating people about alcohol than with extended drinking times.

"We don't think the problem lies with how long a pub is open for, it is more to do with people being aware of the dangers and risks of alcohol," she said.


More from south east Wales
See also:

20 Jun 02 | Wales
29 Apr 01 | Politics
15 Nov 02 | Politics
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