Do any CoffeeHousers know of research that suggests such prices rises actually deter drunkenness? I don't. Drink has become steadily more expensive, and the mayhem on the streets has hardly calmed. I suspect the Friday night chaos the BBC loves to show us has more to do with the scandalous fact that the number prosecuted for being drunk-and-disorderly has collapsed from 30,700 prosecutions to 16,400 each year between 2000 and 2006 as police chased other targets – and started imposing these daft £40 fines instead of taking people to the cells.
UPDATE: There appears to be a cyberspace consensus that my working figure above of 35mg to a line of coke is somewhat parsimonious. Tim Worstall says I must be a lightweight (but he does cite Sainsbury’s 26p a pint for cider) and I can’t repeat what I’ve been called on Popbitch. So Charlie’s estimate of £2 a line of 40mg seems to be better-accepted – and this is, of course, more expensive than a price of half a cider even in my local. I therefore stand corrected.