New alcohol licensing laws have come into force in England and Wales. It means pubs, bars and clubs can stay open longer, 24 hours if they choose to do so. Latest figures show that the majority – 60 percent – have opted for longer hours. However, only a fraction of them, mainly large supermarkets, will stay open round the clock.Critics, including the medical community, say it could encourage people to drink more. The Government has launched a hard-hitting campaign warning of the penalties of binge-drinking in a bid to counter criticism of the new legislation.