Drinking Beer
A customer drinks beer at the St. George brewery's public pub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 28, 2015. Picture taken March 28, 2015. Reuters/Tiksa Negeri

According to a secret study of Australian pubs and clubs, drinkers get more intoxicated at venues with more men. Deakin University researchers have called for lockout laws in Victoria after they found a link between inebriation and proportion of men and young people at a venue.

This correlation between intoxication levels and the proportion of young patrons and men has prompted a renewed call for lockout laws in Victoria. The Deakin University-led study analysed 828 people across 62 bars, nightclubs and large pubs in Wollongong, Geelong, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

The researchers looked for signs of inebriation such as changes in behaviour, slurred speech and lack of balance and coordination in the drinkers. For all the venues, the researchers found that about half of those observed showed signs of being drunk or tipsy at any given time and the majority were male.

Just over half the patrons were under 25 years and for each percentage point increase of men, there was a five percentage increase of high levels of intoxication in the venue, writes The Guardian. The study also found that venues open past midnight and overcrowding also contributed to higher levels of intoxication.

Moreover, nightclubs had a significantly lower percentage of patrons showing signs of intoxication compared to mainstream large pubs.

“It quantified things like an 11 per cent increase in intoxication for every hour after midnight. That sort of (data) gives us real insights into why restricted trading hours work,” study author and Deakin University professor Peter Miller told Herald Sun.

He added that NSW’s licensing law changes have been quite successful and these include “last drinks” in all venues from 3am, ban on shots after midnight and 1.30am lockouts for certain pubs and clubs.

Marlene Kairouz, minister for liquor and gaming regulation, said lockouts would be terrible for the fabric of the city’s cultural and social identity.

“We are getting on with making vibrant Melbourne a 24-hour city. We have a liquor freeze on beer barns, and inspectors on the beat making sure licensees are doing the right thing,” Miller said.