The problem with alcohol

The problem with alcohol is much the same problem as guns and drugs and many other bad things in the world, it’s not that they exist it’s how we use them. But hey that’s not news. I’m not being all down on booze just because I can’t drink at the moment (the impending arrival of baby Bertie is the cause of my abstinence) although I do miss my glasses of wine. The reason I have a problem with alcohol is there is practically nothing to stop people drinking themselves into a stupor and putting their lives and the lives of people around them at risk.

I’ve worked in several bars and have been told when starting at each establishment that you aren’t to serve anyone who is too drunk, however I never once saw this being enforced at the bar. That’s not the say the door staff didn’t bounce a few assholes out the place. If most places actually stopped serving people who were too drunk, most bars would be closed by 10:30pm on a Saturday night.

The reason for this particular post is due to something that happened on Saturday night. Around midnight (a time I would never usually be up at) I was waiting for my husband to come home from a concert and I heard some loud bangs from outside. When I went to look I couldn’t see anything so I went into the communal areas to get a better look, still nothing. I guess it might be foxes in the bins. So I go outside and see a man covered in blood stood on the balcony of the flat below just staring at me like he was going to kill me. I then saw the occupant of the flat inside asking me if I knew who the guy was, I shook my head and went inside. I was pretty shaken up at this point and went back into the communal areas to see if I could talk to the guy I had just seen to see if he needed to call the police. I then met some other residents who said they had already call the police 3 times but they were attending a big fight in the city centre and couldn’t send anyone out (anyone spotting a pattern here). So the guy on the balcony starts trying to kick the doors in, in an attempt to get the building. I then call the police too and figure the more of us who report it the more likely they were to send someone out.

While I was on the line to the call centre operative the police arrive and 10 burly police men came storming in the building and attempted to try and get the guy off the balcony. I then take refuge in a neighbours flat while the police try and do something about this guy. The next thing we see is an ambulance first response unit (one of the cars) as they guy seems to have some sort of head injury, not that the police seem to be able to get much out of him, they can’t even tell if the guy is English! Turns out he is and after 45 minutes another ambulance has turned up and they cart him off to hospital. I finally feel safe enough to go back to my flat and wait for my husband to come home. We head to bed about 2:30 am and at 3am we start hearing a huge racket out the front. The guy had come back and was trying to break in again! This time when the police were called they actually took him away.

The guy had no ID on him, no keys or anything. He was completely hammered and probably had no recollection the next day about what had happened but I’ve been left terrified about being left alone in my own home. It didn’t really hit me until I went to work yesterday and when it did I just couldn’t stop crying. The realisation that it’s not just about me anymore it’s about my baby and making decisions that protect him. I’ve been around drunks before and I can handle myself and this would normally be like water off a ducks back. But now I have someone else’s safety to consider and we are having to make some serious financial decisions just because of some drunk guy.

I know people moan about the nanny state but look at the cost to the tax payer 10 police officers, 2 police vans, 2 ambulances, hospital staff and who knows who else. All because no one stopped serving this guy booze when they should have.

Yes, raise the price of alcohol by all means but that’s not going to help the problem that much, what we need is some way to actually educate people not to drink that much, or at least have to foot the bill when they put such a strain on our emergency services. Bars should be more accountable where they serve people who are clearly far too drunk to need any more. And if I had my way everyone should have to apply for a licence to drink alcohol not just serve it.

This has been a bit more serious than my usual rants because I’m in a more serious mood, so I’ll end with this……. what facebook has taught me is that many of the people who can’t handle alcohol also can’t spell it.

*rolls eyes and put the kettle on* tea and scones anyone?


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