Icelandic conservative party wants to lower the drinking age to 18 and other things..

I think any change in the status quo of drinking laws, regardless of what they look like in respective countries, is going to result in a large spike of alcohol consumption. People love having any sort of excuse to start drinking. Then you'll of course have all the baggage that comes along with it, like higher accident and violent crimes rate. It'd probably take a couple of years for things to normalize again.

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That whole "if you drink, you MUST get smashed/binge drink/throw up/do nasty and/or criminal stuff" seems to be more a "staple" of Northern European culture, for some reason, and in particular Anglo-Saxon but Germans are also known to indulge. In Southern Europe, for some reason, even though drinking laws are nowhere near as strict, there are NOT such phenomena. Drinking excesses and/or using drinking as an excuse to behave like a demented baboon in public are only associated with Northern tourists, and in particular British.

http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/article_en.cfm?id=/research/headlines/news/article_11_11_08_en.html&item=Infocentre&artid=23193

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7616405/Britain-is-the-binge-drinking-capital-of-Europe.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/binge-drinking-brits-the-one-boom-industry-1143704

But hey, if they are willing to pay good cash for the Bulgarian synthetic alcohol they are served...why not.

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Maybe we don't drink more than anyone else, but other nations can handle their booze better than we can.

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I think it has only been demonstrated that Asians have a lower tolerance for alcohol intoxication at the genetic level. Why should Britons be more sensitive than e.g. the French, where even riot police can enjoy some wine with their on-duty meals? That being said, the mental image of gin-guzzling British "bobbies" feels painful, as in "billyclub-smashing-your-skull" painful....so maybe you simply can't control how much you drink as well as anyone else ;-)

For countries such as Finland, Sweden etc. there are well-known sociological studies linking chronic alcoholism with a generalized tendency for depression and suicide inherent in those societies, so they have an incentive for making booze unaffordable, one way or the other, and I guess Iceland falls more under this case than the British one.

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