It's not that much to ask: to have a night out in Kings Cross, or Bondi, or Parramatta, without fearing that some aggressive drunk is going to put you in hospital.
And yet, every weekend, the intensive care units of the city's hospitals are filled with the victims of such anti-social behaviour.
Every time a young person becomes the victim of alcohol-related violence, there are ripple effects.
Their family is left with the traumatic job of trying to rehabilitate them or, worse, bury them.
Their friends lose the ability to enjoy a night out without looking over their shoulders.
The sense of unease is contagious. Some stay home rather than deal with the hassle. Others puff themselves up with uncharacteristic aggression in order to confront the maelstrom.
Parents lie in bed at night worrying whether their son or daughter will make it home safely.
And police and governments find new ways to try and restrict the mayhem, which inevitably also impinges on those who weren't responsible for the trouble in the first place.
It shouldn't have to be this way.
Politicians, police, the media, they all have the power to effect change. But no one has yet managed to stem the bloodflow.
Sometimes, when facing a cultural problem, the solution has to come from the bottom up, rather than the top down.
That's why the Herald is launching a competition for people to help take a stand against alcohol-related violence on the city's streets.
We are asking readers to come up with a 30-second video advertisement or poster campaign aimed at curbing the prevalence of alcohol-related violence.
It won't be easy. But there is a precedent.
In 2007, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority had great success with its 'pinkie' campaign. The billboard and TV campaign showed men and women wiggling their pinkie finger at speeding drivers, hinting at another body appendage, with the slogan ‘‘Speeding. No one thinks big of you’’.
Studies showed its tongue-in-cheek approach had greater cut-through with young male audiences than traditional campaigns focused on gruesome images of crushed vehicles.
Importantly, the number of men who died in speeding cars dropped in 2007 to 116, down from 153 a year earlier.
"One of the key innovations of the campaign was delivering the anti-speeding message in a youthful, non-authoritative way, a noticeable move away from convention," one report into the campaign said.
Our challenge to readers is to come up with the 'pinkie' campaign of alcohol-related violence, something that will appeal to a young audience and has the potential to change the way people think about antisocial behaviour.
Whether it's through humour, music or brutal honesty, it represents a chance for young people to help define their culture; what they deem acceptable and unacceptable. But entries will be open to people of all ages.
To enter participants must send a 30-second video advertisement or A4 poster artwork to email@example.com, along with the entrant's name, age, address and contact phone number.
The winning entry will be used on Fairfax websites, and in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper and tablet editions.