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Our outdated drinking laws need changed

The Environment Minister's call to close clubs in Belfast at 2am is very unfair and will do nothing to solve the binge-drinking culture.

Contrary to popular belief, the nanny state rules to close bars at 1am and other venues at 2am only serve to exacerbate the problem.

For many reasons - such as work commitments - lots of people only begin their nights out late into the evening.

With the knowledge that the bar will close in an hour or two, people often feel under pressure to drink as much as they can in a short space of time.

At least when the clubs stayed open later there was an opportunity for people to sober up before being herded out onto the streets.

Now with every club in the city closing at 2am, revellers will be trying to leave the city at the same time - exacerbating the taxi shortage problem.

In my opinion, the best solution would be to update our antiquated laws and allow the bars inside nightclubs to remain open throughout the night, like they do in the vast majority of cities across Europe, including London.

GARETH BROWN

Belfast

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