The UK famously has a reputation as a rainy nation with lots of pubs – there’s probably a connection there – but did you know that there is a law in the UK that prohibits being drunk in a pub?
Yes, believe it or not, a UK statute actually prohibits drunkenness in the one place where you’re theoretically supposed to be drunk: the pub. Indeed, technically, the act makes it illegal to be drunk pretty much anywhere in England and Wales that isn’t private property.
Not to be confused with being drunk and disorderly, which is an offence under the Criminal Justice Act of 1968, being drunk in a licensed premises – in other words a pub – is illegal in its own right. Section 12 of the 1872 Licensing Act stipulates that ‘every person found drunk… on any licensed premises shall be liable to a penalty’, which currently stands at £200.
The act actually applies to ‘any highway or other public place, whether a building or not’, but the explicit mention of pubs is indicative of a society lacking our modern liberal attitudes to drinking. Passed during the Victorian era, this law was probably concerned with keeping people sober enough to be productive. Britain was after all the workshop of the world and people working in factories are not much help drunk.
The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, passed three years before Queen Victoria ascended the throne, resulted in the scaling back of help for impoverished people. It saw those who were enduring hard times coerced into workhouses, where they were made to work long hours in terrible conditions in exchange for the most basic sustenance.
Britain’s drunk and disorderly laws originated with the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act, where Section 58 states that ‘Drunkards guilty of riotous or indecent behaviour may be imprisoned.
Meanwhile the Licensing Act of 2003 makes it illegal for publicans to sell alcohol to someone who’s drunk or for anyone else to get alcohol for them – so next time silly Steve’s totally smashed, maybe think twice about ordering him another one.
Enjoy reading this? Find out why in the UK the game knock down ginger is illegal, why until recently it was illegal to impersonate a Chelsea Pensioner or why there’s a myth that it’s illegal to die in Parliament.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.