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A License for Boozers?

A UK ambulance worker suggests issuing drinking licenses to all citizens—which can be revoked if necessary.

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Should troublemakers lose the right to drink?
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By Bryan Le

02/16/12

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In a week when British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to create a fleet of “drunk tanks” and “booze buses” and set a minimum price for alcohol, a UK paramedic who's worked in ambulances on Saturday nights thinks he has a better idea: a drinking license. Writing in The Guardian, Brian Kellett claims that Cameron's proposals would simply be “wallpapering over the cracks” instead of dealing with the real issue: "The problem is that people drink, and continue to drink, because there are no consequences. I could...slump over into someone's front garden, a free [thanks to the UK's National Health Service] ambulance will arrive and take me to hospital... At no point will I have to talk to the police about being drunk and disorderly...Tomorrow, I can do the same thing again." Instead, Keller hopes to see a day when if you "prove that you are not adult enough to use a mind-altering substance responsibly then, much like someone who is too dangerous to drive, your drinking license is taken away." He believes this would help end the problems caused by Britain's legions of drunks, such as overcrowded hospitals and police stations, adding that the fines collected from unlicensed drinkers could go towards domestic violence support and alcohol treatment programs. "Suddenly, there are consequences," he writes.

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