This morning brought the news that Boris Johnson is lobbying the government for stronger powers to deal with London's unusually large contingent of drunks.
The plan, borrowed from South Dakota, would see anyone convicted of an alcohol-related offence tested for blood alcohol twice a day, and jailed if found to be unsober. This, deputy mayor Kit Malthouse claims, would be cheaper than the money currently shovelled into tackling the problem through policing and the NHS.
Perhaps. But merely criminalising the terminally bladdered seems, to us, to only tackle half the problem. If London is really to shake off its drinking problem, then our wobblier friends need to be given every incentive to quit the demon drink.
Here are a few we came up with:
- Breath-test activated Oyster cards. If you've had too many, no Victoria line for you.
- Pavements that vomit back.
- The Groucho technique: no one who actually wants a drink will be allowed to have one.
- All problem drinkers to receive a personal visit from Kit Malthouse. Acts as a deterrent.
- Every time a Londoner gets drunk, Boris to tearfully murder a kitten.
- Policemen that vomit back.
- Free black coffee with every night bus. Two if it's a 73.
- Cabbies to automatically take all drunks to a single clearing in Epping Forest, from where they have to find their own way home. (NO HELPING.)
- Toilets that vomit back.
This problem, though, clearly requires a city-wide effort. All other suggestions gratefully received in the comments thread.
Photo courtesy of Foist under a creative commons licence.