High alcohol prices causing pre-drinking culture
December 11, 2019
The high cost of alcohol at Australian pubs and clubs is causing nearly two-thirds of revellers to pre-drink before heading out, according to a new study.
An international comparison of pre-drinking rates found 64 per cent of Australian ‘nightlife goers’ drink at home before hitting the town.
The global report looked at people aged 16 to 35 who had consumed alcohol in the past 12 months and had also been to a pub, bar or nightclub in the past year.
Australia ranked 13th for pre-drinking levels out of 25 countries analysed.
Greece had the lowest proportion of pre-drinkers at just over 17 per cent, while Ireland the highest at 85 per cent.
University of Queensland researcher Jason Ferris, who co-authored the report, said the price of alcohol at licensed premises was a factor in the prevalence of pre-drinking.
‘This really expanded that global context and certainly demonstrates how pricing is a big influencer in people’s drinking behaviour and the general culture of drinking,’ he told
COUNTRIES WITH THE HIGHEST PRE-DRINKING RATES (PER CENT)
1. Ireland – 85.4
2. Norway – 80.5
3. Canada – 80.2
4. New Zealand – 78.7
5. Denmark – 76.2
13. Australia – 64.1
‘Where the price ratio is typically high – this means that to buy a beer on premises is substantially higher than off premises – you would expect that people would be more likely to pre-drink, because it costs too much to drink when you go out,’ he said.
The study also found that high alcohol prices were causing some people to stay home altogether.
‘In countries where the price ratio is high, some people would rather drink (heavily) only off-premise without going out afterwards,’ the report read.
The research relied on data from the 2015 Global Drug Survey, which asked respondents whether they arrived sober at bars or nightclubs.
Some 17 per cent of Australians drink more than two standard drinks a day, placing them at increased risk of alcohol-related illness, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.