Bar Hours and Emergency Room Visits

In this fascinating article from BBC News, the article outlines how 24 hour bar openings has led to a significant increase in the number of emergency room visits. In fact since the implementation of 24 hour openings, the incidents of alcohol related injuries more that tripled.  The issues outlined in this article parallel the findings of researcher Dr. Joel Ray of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto Canada. In his study, the incidence of violent acts leading to emergency room visits and alcohol related accidents increased significantly as a result of longer bar hours. In a Norwegian study, it was determined that increasing bar opening hours by just one hour increased emergency room visits by up to 16%! Though it may be better for bar owners and arguably more convenient for patrons, the cost to society and to individuals is significant. Though the articles do not necessarily reject having long bar hours, they do recommend such things as staggering the closing times of bars, increasing the availability of food and non alcoholic drink options for patrons. Recent initiatives by such organizations as Safe Bars, a project of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) are leading to help create safer spaces in terms of physical safety. Though such organizations are in their early stages of development, the model they have created is an excellent initiative and one which may be applicable to drinking establishments around the world. No one wants to see and increase in senseless injuries so research such as these studies and proactive initiatives such as CASS are tremendously important. So the next time you are out late at a bar – please be safe and consider the statistics. Try not to be a part of those statistics…

Alcohol Law Trebles A&E Visits

Why this Toronto ER doctor is dead set against extending last call


Scott Clazie

Also published on Medium.

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