By Andrew Starke
Liquor retailers have rejected claims made by anti-alcohol lobbyists that ‘pre-fuelling’ is responsible for violence and anti-social behaviour in on-premise venues or entertainment precincts.
‘Pre-loading’ or ‘pre-fuelling’ is the term for the perception of some young people who get drunk at home on cheap alcohol before heading out to licensed premises and nightspots.
However, Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) chief executive officer, Terry Mott, said the Australian habit of having a social drink at home with family or friends before going out has been a normal and responsible social practice for many years.
“Some of the so-called health lobby’s extreme fringe like to mischievously badge this as ‘pre-loading or pre-fuelling’ and are pushing a barrow trying to link any consumption of take-away packaged alcohol beverages with excessive intoxication and drunkenness,” he said.
“Despite the spurious claims made in numerous media interviews and articles – there is no research that measures the extent or trends of having a few social drinks with friends or family before going out, nor more importantly of any proven impact on alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour.”
Mott called for solutions to be properly researched and developed based on evidence – not anecdote. “It makes great media bytes to keep floating this concept – but it is about time those who pedal this nonsense actually put up some solid facts to support it,” he said. “Even key Government bodies say there is no conclusive evidence and their views are at best ‘anecdotal’.”