End alcohol home deliveries to drunken party-goers, urges leading doctor
A leading doctor today urged the Government to clamp down on companies that carry out home deliveries to drunk people who have run out of alcohol at a party.
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, a former president of the Royal Society of Medicine, called for licensing of the firms that provide 'night time party top-ups'.
The independent crossbench peer pointed to a new British Liver Trust report which showed that around 9,000 deaths a year were due to alcohol.
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff called for licensing of the firms that provide 'night time party top-ups'
At question time in the House of Lords, she said: 'There is a need for social strategies that look at issues such as minimum pricing and licensing of these home delivery services that provide night time party top-ups – where parties have run out of alcohol – for people who are already drunk.'
She called for breathalysers to be used in a “compulsory way” by police as 45 per cent of violent crime and 37 per cent of domestic violence was alcohol related.
Concerns: Baroness Finlay is a former president of the Royal Society of Medicine
Health minister Earl Howe said the Government recognised the 'devastating consequences' of alcohol misuse.
He said the Government would soon produce an 'alcohol strategy' and was 'committed to ending the sale of heavily discounted alcohol'.
'We are clear that irresponsible sales of alcohol need to be controlled,' he added.
But he said there were no plans to widen the use of breathalysers.
The British Liver Trust report, referred to by Baroness Finlay, revealed that 8,790 people died from drink-related deaths in 2010.
The death toll figures from the Office for National Statistic revealed this was up from 8,664 in 2009. Men accounted for two thirds of the deaths, with the highest rate in the north-east of England with 22.6 deaths per 100,000.
Supermarket booze deals, 24-hour licensing laws and the binge-drinking culture in Britain have all been blamed.
A spokesman for the charity said: 'It is a mistake to think that you have to be a heavy drinker to run into problems. Although it can take as long as 10 to 20 years, drinking just a bit more than you should over time can seriously harm your liver.
'Not feeling any side effects from drinking does not mean that you are not risking chronic ill-health or lasting liver damage from alcohol-related liver disease. Vast numbers of us now fall into this category.'