Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sliding Scale Drinks

Cheap to drink, expensive to get drunk.
  (+9, -4)
(+9, -4)
  [vote for,

The more alcohol one consumes at a bar, the more difficult it must be to take care of that person. They get into bar fights, drop what they ate earlier on the floor, or just are generally obnoxious and annoying once their level of consumption has passed a certain limit.

I propose a bar system where your drinks go up in price as you drink. Say, the first beer is $0.50, second is $1, third $2. Tracking how many one has had is a bit of a problem, but recording someone's license number should work.

This will have several benefits: draw people in who want a cheap drink, encourage people to drink in moderation, and make a killing off of alcoholics ($64?!, let me go by the ATM).

Worldgineer, Jun 15 2005

Barcode Hand Stamp One way of tracking who's had what to drink. [Worldgineer, Jun 15 2005]

Ha! http://www.beerinth...om/crawls/gen.shtml
[po, Jun 15 2005]

Jack Daniels is Dead http://www.moderndr...itors_rant_jack.htm
Long Live Brown Forman's! [DocBrown, Jun 17 2005]


       By my count $64 dollars would be a patron's 8th drink, by which point the patron may well be drunk enough to actually pay that kind of money. [-] for taking advantage of people with social problems.   

       Thanks [po]! you just helped me plan my evening.
hidden truths, Jun 15 2005

       So this is another reason to go on a pub crawl... you're *always* on your first drink no matter how slaughtered you are.   

       [edit: spots po's pub crawl link]
st3f, Jun 15 2005

       I imagine some drunks would hear $1048 and mindlessly say "just put it on my tab".
phundug, Jun 15 2005

       Ah, the pub crawl loophole. This could be solved with either a central database or by a blood alcohol breath test.   

       [ht] On the contrary, I'm helping people with social problems. A few nights out should cure their alcoholism until the next paycheck.
Worldgineer, Jun 15 2005

       cheap drinks reminds me of the happy hour at a bar North of here: all drinks $0.50 from 7pm until someone pees.
oxen crossing, Jun 16 2005

       There was a place where they'd charge you the time for a meal.   

       Eg. You order dinner at 9:35pm, you pay $9.35. Order at 11:45pm and pay $11.45.   

       The idea, of course, was to get people in early and hope they stay.   

       Your idea gets them in early and makes them leave.   

       Nice idea, though. Your first + is free!
not_only_but_also, Jun 16 2005

       The problem is that tolerances to alcohol vary widely. Assuming the reason you charge people more for subsequent drinks is to compensate for/try to prevent the problems they cause when drunk by prohibiting them from reaching this state, the proposed system skews in favour of the "3 drinks and over the sink" crowd. This might be an excellent thing to apply to people who start to snarl and sway after 3 or 4, but what of those of us who can happily absorb 6 or 7 and remain the epitome of gentility. What of us and our needs? [World] thou hast cursed us and cast us into the shadows!

In addition to this, what happens if I didn't drive to the bar? I have no associated license number. May I please drink all I like? I also think the mechanisms necessary to operate the central database/breathalyser test in bars would require some not-so-subtle tweaks to the law (mandatory ID tag when on a night out, compulsory submission to breath testing).

In spite of these problems, I still think it could work. Perhaps a non-exponential pricing system would be the first step? Withholding buns and fish for now...
DocBrown, Jun 16 2005

       Although I'm opposed to this idea (largely because it fails to distinguish between people who can hold their drink and people who can't, and also between people who sit in the corner and giggle when they get drunk and people who pick fights with Glaswegian spot-welders), I wonder if I might suggest a modification.
You buy your first pint at £2.00. The price of your second pint then becomes £3.00, but reduces by £0.04 per minute until you buy it, with a lower limit of £2.00. Thus, if you buy your second pint less than 25 minutes after your first, you pay over the odds, but if you wait 25 minutes, you pay the same price.
There are several objections to this version as well (as I said, I'm opposed to the basic concept), but, I think, fewer than to the original.
angel, Jun 16 2005

       [Doc] I certainly hope you don't drive to bars. I meant a drivers license, or ID (something state-issued with your picture on it and a unique number).   

       There's no need for additional laws. No ID and breath test, no beer. The first part of this is already commoon practice here for people that look under 30.   

       [angel] I considered a similar pricing scheme - every hour, your drink prices roll back a drink. This modification works for me, especially with a higher starting price.
Worldgineer, Jun 16 2005

       Ah! Sorry, [Doc], I deleted your anno. Please post again.
Worldgineer, Jun 16 2005

       What about pricing based on a breathalyser reading? Possibly simplifies [angel]'s suggestion.
Detly, Jun 16 2005

       No worries, I have an unlimited supply of hot air to expend!

Here goes again: I'm inches from bunning but a mite concerned about being required to carry state-issued photographic ID around all the time. I'm not sure if this is an issue in the US but here in the UK they are trying to force through mandatory photographic ID cards and I really don't like the idea.

Could bars that adopt this pricing scheme not share a registration system hooked into the database? That way you could register at one of the bars and then give your number at any of the others, thus allowing the scheme to function whilst not eroding any basic civil liberties.

[Detly] I think the problem with purely breathalyser-based pricing would be insufficiently detailed readings and/or lack of accuracy. Also, it might encourage very fast drinking, since the alcomahol takes a little while to filter through to your breathalyser reading methinks.
DocBrown, Jun 16 2005

       [Doc] A user name and password's certainly a possibility, but you'd need to use something unique to reference it to - perhaps you could bring in your ID once to set up your user name.   

       [Det] Certainly a possibility, but adds a strange step in the serving process and would certainly interrupt conversation.
Worldgineer, Jun 16 2005

       "...and then, get this, he just says-"
"Blow this for me, miss - I can't service you until you do."
Detly, Jun 16 2005

       [World] I'd have no objection to an initial proof of identity in order to register. Now there's one more problem before this is good.

[The busy and successful Worldgineer bar. In walks DocBrown with several friends. He is rocking a particularly sharp cape, eyepatch and gold tooth combo. Lo! He approachs the bar. The Doc enters his user code and supplies a completely umblemished breath sample to the proffered tube]

DB: Hi. I'd like 6 pints of Guinness for £2.00 each please. Of course, I will not be drinking them all myself [winks].

Server: Very good sir.That will be £12.00 please

DB:<MrBurns> Excellent </MrBurns>

[DocBrown retires to the corner to drink his weight in stout at a heftily discounted price, all the while laughing quietly at Worldgineer's folly]
DocBrown, Jun 16 2005

       Did I mention that drinks can only be ordered from the waitstaff, and we don't sell pitchers? Sounds strange, but there's a pool hall downtown that has these exact restrictions.
Worldgineer, Jun 16 2005

       Waitstaff and pitchers notwithstanding, what happens if I want to buy a round for friends? This was the problem I was getting at - in the UK, the practice of buying in rounds is commonplace, indeed I'd say it's pretty much the norm for those drinking in a group. If you prohibit this by mandating that each customer may only buy one drink at a time you might solve the problem but you also make a significant cultural change and increase the queue at the bar.
DocBrown, Jun 16 2005

       Yes, this is a difficult problem, but not insurmountable. All orders are made at tables, and the waitstaff has the ID numbers of everyone at their table. You can certainly still buy a round, and everyone's drink total will increase by one. I'm thinking of some sort of PDA solution to help the waitstaff with this.   

       Of course, there will be social pressures that work against the round system - especially if one of your friends has been at the bar many rounds longer than you. Plus, everyone will jump to get the first round and nobody would want the last.
Worldgineer, Jun 16 2005

       I'm gonna bun you for effort at this stage [World], even though my friends in the round are actually teetotal and just helping me get drunk.
[Raises glass vaguely in World's direction, sways and falls backwards off chair]
DocBrown, Jun 16 2005

       I was with you on this one until   

       //All orders are made at tables, and the waitstaff has the ID numbers of everyone at their table. You can certainly still buy a round, and everyone's drink total will increase by one. I'm thinking of some sort of PDA solution to help the waitstaff with this.//   

       It's just too much sighning up and keeping track for me. I go to a bar to relax and get away from the daily bureaucracy of life, not to get more wound up in it. Red tape and beer do not mix.   

       [edit]: OK, that was rash. I like the concept, and won't bone it based on speculation in the annos. I'll give it a conditional bun, but it's easily retractible, if any of that beerocratic crap gets into the idea proper.   

       And [DocBrown], I don't agree that you need more cheap beer just because you appear to hold it better than some. Your reflexes slow the same amount per blood alcohol content as everyone elses, regardless of your apparent inebriation, as does your judgement. Let's keep it fair. No special treatment for heavy drinkers. It defeats the purpose of the concept.
oxen crossing, Jun 16 2005

       I'm the person that drinks 4 beers and sits in the corner and giggles so I'm gonna bun this Idea! This way its cheaper. Even by [angels] suggestion it would save me money, because I also tend to hug the last beer to infinity. (mostly because I'm trying to keep up appearance and you can't do that by drifting the glass to your mouth)   

       Don't know how its done elsewhere but here you can keep tabs. Just count the drinks at the end and add half times drinks - 1.
E.g.: (10 beers+ (0,5.9)).

       What would be more difficult (and even more fun for me!) is that I could have 1 drink at bar A, the second at bar B, third off to bar C and the final knockdown at bar D all at the price for 50 cents.
<What do you mean customer loyalty? Beers' as good here as over there!>
Susan, Jun 16 2005

       [oxen crossing] I wouldn't dispute for a moment the uniform effect of alcohol on reaction time but I'm not suggesting that people should drive home after 9 beers, merely pointing out that the original pricing scheme wasn't good for people with a high alcohol tolerance. I don't think the revised pricing scheme posited by [angel] defeats the purpose of the idea, that being to prevent people from becoming problematic drunks rather than preventing people who are able to drink in large quantities without causing trouble from doing so.
DocBrown, Jun 17 2005

       Maybe when a bar is licensed to sell alcoholic drinks* it could be granted a license for so many units of alcohol a night. That way the prices might naturally rise over the course of the evening.   

       Not exactly what Worldgineer is proposing, but it might have a similar effect.   

       *This is how it works in the UK. I'm making sweeping assumptions about the rest of the world.
st3f, Jun 17 2005

       Except that I get there first and buy a quart of Jack Daniels for ninepence then you arrive at half past eight and pay £37.43 for a half of bitter.
angel, Jun 17 2005

       Supply and demand. They're not going to sell you a quart of whisky below cost and they're going to charge me a price that they know I'm going to pay, but cut the hyperbole and that's pretty much it.   

       You'd get pubs (drinking holes) that sell fast and cheap, closing early. You'd get pubs that would conserve their supply and charge higher prices staying open later. And you'd get pubs that would use some kind of extended 'happy hour' metaphor to change their prices all night.   

       I am wandering off World's orginal idea a little, though.
st3f, Jun 17 2005

       Don't drink Jack's [angel] - it ain't Jack's anymore (see link).
DocBrown, Jun 17 2005

       The hyperbole was principally because I couldn't be bothered to think up sensible figures that would immediately illustrate my point. I'm wholly in favour of market-driven pricing, so I favour the way that the system operate, except that I don't favour your "so many units of alcohol a night" model. (But then, it's no worse than that proposed here, or my alternative.)
[DocBrown]: As it hasn't been Jack's since shortly after I was born, I really don't care who owns the company. It tastes, to me, as it always has, which is my sole criterion.
angel, Jun 17 2005

       I don't care who owns the company either [angel]. I'm more bothered about the fact that they've changed the recipe (twice) without publicising the fact and whilst continuing with their stupid "it's the way it always has been, town with only one stop sign, black and white film, down homey faux Southern gentleman narrator" nonsense.
DocBrown, Jun 17 2005

       There's a stockmarket tavern in Germany, where prices are updated every five minutes according to supply and demand.
Detly, Jun 18 2005

       Seems a little odd, considering there's more or less endless supply. Is it artifically restricted? "We will now start the bidding for the last bottle of beer..." "...Sold! for $20..." "...We will now start the bidding for the last bottle of beer..."
Worldgineer, Jun 20 2005


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