We really have to worry when our policemen and MP's favour the notion of collective punishment. The majority of drinkers, young and old, behave responsibly. Why should they pay more for their alchohol, because a minority misbehave? Why should they be banned from drinking in public places, because a minority are irresponsible? Once again, the authorities want to punish the decent and law-abiding, rather than confront the behaviours of the delinquent.
Responsibility is the key. "I was drunk" is no defence. Drinking is a free choice and those who do it remain responsible for their actions while in drink. There is no earthly reason, however, why we should be responsible for the actions of others - drunk or sober.
To me, the saddest aspect of the British "drinking culture" is the way it reveals the weakness of British friendships and family relationships. The photograph illustrating the linked article could never be taken in Poland or Russia (where hard drinking is rather more prevalent). The young woman's friends would not leave her in such danger. Euan Blair's little incident could never have happened there, because his friends would have seen him safely home. The Welfare State in Britain has hacked away at our humanity for so long that we are no longer, as a nation, to be trusted to look after each other.
"Something must be done" is the cry of the man at the apron strings of Mother State. "I must do something" is the cry of the Free Man. I know who I would rather have as a friend.