Brown hints at 24-hour licensing rethink
A review of 24-hour alcohol licensing has been ordered by Gordon Brown following a study at London's St Thomas's Hospital that found an increase in the number of overnight A&E visits since the laws were relaxed. The Home Office will consult police and local authorities in problem areas, but the prime minister stressed there was no need to 'rush to judgement'. Meanwhile a call for age-based drinking guidelines to go alongside those based on gender has been made by professor of Gerontology at Brunel University, Mary Gilhooly. While older people are less able to metabolise alcohol, the generation now hitting their sixties have traditionally been bigger drinkers than previous generations and are likely to remain so, she says. 'If you take a cohort that has always drunk a lot, like the baby boomers, they will probably drink a lot over the sensible limit when they are older,' she said, adding that many elderly people should be advised not to drink at all.