MY observation is that young people started to preload with drinks about 25 years ago and head off to a venue much later in the evening.
Hotels had serious financial issues after random breath testing was introduced, used politics to get an equal footing with the clubs regarding gambling machines, and greatly changed the quality of the venues and services provided in relation to attracting a broader clientele at significant investment costs.
To assist in balancing the books, the margins on drinks, particularly the premixed variety, was increased dramatically. This was a major turn-off for attending a hotel, and drinking at a sensible pace, because of the prohibitive costs.
Accordingly people overindulge prior to going out. Rather than raising the prices from bottle shops, an obvious alternative is for the venues to reduce their prices to realistic levels, thus encouraging sober attendance at a venue much earlier?