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Should alcohol be banned? (Prohibition)

What is Alcohol?


  1. A colourless volatile flammable liquid, C2H5OH, that is intoxicating . (Chemically various forms of carbon and hydrogen structure with a hydrogen/oxygen appendage)
  2. A drink containing the the above such as wine, beer, spirits

Wider definition

  • Alcohols appear everywhere in nature and commonly made by fermentation. Alcohol is always present in human blood. Should this be included in the definition?
  • How do you define binge drinking?
  • How do you define what a safe limit is? (other than 0)

The case for banning alcohol

What's wrong with alcohol?

  1. Alcohol affects the way the brain works, making people less inhibited and less able to make sound decisions.
    This the reason people individually take alcohol, they see these things as benefits.
  2. When some people take it, they become violent
    The problem is not alcohol, but the fact these people are violent, alcohol just brings it to the surface.
  3. People become addicted to it
    There are treatments for this
  4. Its bad for the liver and other parts of the body
    Everybody knows this, yet they still see reason to take it. Its their body
  5. When under the influence of alcohol, users can harm others in accidents.
    There are already laws to cover what happens when one person harms another.
  6. It puts strains on the health system
    Make those who put the strain on the system pay for it
Alcohol is just a chemical, there is no relationship between alcohol and harm Given that its naturally in the bloodstream. There is however a relationship between certain individuals taking alcohol and harm.
Addiction affects a minority, if anything the minority should be banned from alcohol, not alcohol itself.

Aside from addiction, most of the other problems occur from people not knowing or caring where their limits are. A culture of over drinking being cool is partly to blame.

Existing rules need to be enforced and make those who cause damage pay restitution. Police, ambulance and hospital costs need to be reimbursed. A ban for everyone is unfair.

Its O.K to be a loser

Unfortunately it's socially acceptable to get completely wasted. The truth is we have given up as a society on standards of behaviour.
People are given pity, understanding & handouts rather than social stigma & ostracization. It hasn't worked.

The case against banning alcohol

Positive externalities of alcohol

  • There is evidence that red wine can be good for the body
  • Alcohol can improve social interaction, and a lot of people reading this would not have been born if it were not for alcohol
  • People can look forward to alcohol to get them through the week, it acts as a pressure valve
  • Alcohol drunk in a pub can be good for the community

Banning alcohol is futile

Dealing with the effects of excessive drinking without dealing with the cause is pointless. Why do these people think it is acceptable to behave disgracefully and put themselves and others at risk? Teach some self esteem, encourage self reliance and respect 

Prohibition in America

The strongest argument is that banning has been tried before and it did not work. This was called Prohibition.


  • If people faced impossible prices or conditions for alcohol the would simply turn to other even more dangerous and illegal substances.
  • Home brew
  • Boot leg alcohol


The logic behind allowing alcohol purchase and consumption legal is not replicated across other ingestible substances.
It should be.

Will alcohol be banned in government buildings where politicians go.

Will the government treat binge smoking and eating the same way?

We take away driving licenses from reckless drivers, why not try something similar with reckless drinkers?

Politicians love to have pictures touring brewery's, but then try and ban alcohol.


Banning is reverse democracy. The majority pay for the minority who are irresponsible.
Why can't we have the most direct democracy, people deciding for themselves when they can drink.


A large reason people want to ban alcohol, is that they think they want the choices they make to be taken by others.
Ignorance of politicians make them think a ban will work.


Supermarket giant Asda has been criticised for selling lager at 50p a bottle. What is the problem? These deals are what consumers want. Critics are implying no-one in this country can have a drink responsibly. By selling alcohol at a minimum price , even though most people don't have a problem with drinking, the government just punishes people on lower wages for the behaviour of a few.

So the Royal college of Physicians blames the supermarkets for the 200% rise in liver disease- apparently discount booze is the culprit. What a nanny state cop-out. Cheap supermarket lager or not, can the blame really rest with anyone but the fools who drink too much of it?

A premises licence should be removed if they serve someone who should not drink anymore.

A lack of parental guidance and education is responsible for those under 18 who binge drink. Get these youngsters sorted out then by the time they are 18.

If somebody else likes to binge drink should you pay more for your alcohol?

Drunken behaviour is the responsibility of one person and it is easy to prove their guilt so make them pay. Lock them up for their own safety and make them pay the bill for the police, NHS and overnight stay. Three strikes and they have to go into rehab. 

Children should be brought up in the continental fashion, where social drinking is part of the norm and permitted from 14.

Alternatives to bans on alcohol

How about a licence to drink, like a car licence.

Change the duty on alcohol so that weak drinks are cheap while stronger the drink the more it is going to cost, drinkers will then buy drinks with less alcohol in them.

Steadily increasing fines for each offence while being drunk.

What next

  • Price controls on alcohol
  • Higher excise taxes
  • Bans on supermarkets selling them
  • Plain packaged alcohol
  • Limits on amounts sold.
  • Bans in public areas
  • Ban on discounts
  • Banning sponsorship


1851 The state of Maine passed a prohibition law. 
1933 the USA repealed the Eighteenth Amendment with the Twenty-First Amendment.