THERE is no denying that there is a binge drinking problem in this country.
Whenever I go to court, there are many cases of people acting unlawfully that seem to stem from them drinking too much alcohol.
Whether it’s assaulting someone, causing criminal damage or creating disorder in the streets, alcohol does seem to be the excuse a lot of defendants use when they try to excuse their behaviour.
I for one enjoy a drink from time to time, and I admit, at times in my life, especially when I was a teenager, I have drunk a bit more than I should have done.
Of course, I know that it's not good for my health, but I have never caused any trouble while under the influence of alcohol.
I hope that I am a responsible drinker and know when enough is enough and it's time to go home.
But, I know that many people don't know when enough is enough, and drink so much that, not only do they put themselves at risk, but other people as well.
There are so many cheap deals in pubs, clubs and supermarkets that it's easy to get drunk without having to spend too much.
So I can understand why ministers are proposing putting a minimum price of 45p per unit of alcohol to try and reduce the levels of ill-health and crime related to alcohol.
And they are also looking at banning multi-promotions, such as two for the price of one.
But, in doing this, responsible adults are also being punished.
They might just enjoy a glass of wine a week or a few beers with friends, but, if the plans go ahead, they will have to pay more just because some people cannot drink responsibly.
Whether it has an impact on the licensing trade, only time will tell.
Not many pubs sell a pint of lager for less than £2.50 these days, and under the guidelines, a 750ml bottle of 12.5% wine will only cost from £4.22.
But it's the principle that will anger a lot of people.
However, if the price of alcohol is not increased, then what can be done to stop the binge drinking culture that is costing this country millions of pounds?
It's certainly an interesting debate.
What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments.