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Call for fines for drunkenness

A plastic surgeon from Bedford has said that people caught drunk in a public place should be issued with £100 fines.

Peter Mahaffey said police officers should penalise anyone causing a nuisance and found to be more than three times over the drink-drive limit.

The Bedford Hospital surgeon said such a move would help to reduce the needless injuries caused by glassings, drunken brawls and accidents.

He outlined his proposals in a letter to the British Medical Journal, and said that measures such as increasing the price of alcohol do not do enough to deter young people from binge drinking.

He said: "I am a plastic surgeon in a general hospital and we are at the sharp end of the problem of drunkenness, especially in young people."

He said that all too often he sees the results of "glassings to the face, kids driving when they shouldn't and the problem of cutting of nerves in the hands".

Mr Mahaffey added: "If you can frown on drunken driving and fine people for it, why should we not do the same with drunkenness and anti-social behaviour. Why not fine people for that? After two or three months we will find a change in attitude."

British Medical Journal

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Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Yes Yes Yes, but where oh where are the police to do all this prosecuting coming from? It's rare to see a police officer nowadays, they are usually 'community' officers or 'specials' with little power. And its not just young people. I had to move from an area that was plagued by drunks as it was so noisy up until sometimes 4o'clock in the morning, which made it almost impossible to work shifts, and it was mainly adults who were causing the problem. Drunks who were in their 30s, 40s and even 50s who should no better behaved atrociously with little concern for residents - shouting, swearing and singing using bank holidays and Christmas as an excuse for bad behaviour. What chance to young people have when their parents and even grandparents are acting like unsocial hooligans?" - Name and address supplied

"What a splendid idea. Should have been discussed long before now ie the gate bolted after the horse has left. Better late than never. All avenues must be explored if this terrible habit of binge drinking is to stop and the safe drinking habit education is to move forward and be taken seriously." - V Henry

"I strongly commend this proposal. The whole cultre of drinking to excess needs to change. It is not enough to say that people are having a good time & accept as normal excessive drinking. Teenagers are criticised (and rightly so) for drinking to excess, but it is the example they are given by adults who themselves consider it normal to get drunk." - Name and address supplied