1. ITV Report

Police breath tests for party-goers in Northampton

Man drinking bottle of beer Photo: PA Images

Police in Northampton are working with Pubwatch to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder in Northampton.

The latest joint initiative is a scheme to test people who appear to be drunk for levels of alcohol in their system, as a condition of entry to venues across the town.

Police are basing the scheme on a successful campaign in Norwich last Christmas which was greeted with support by members of the public, and helped achieve a 32 per cent reduction in violent crime in the town.

Sergeant Mark Worthington has been working with Pubwatch to get the scheme off the ground. He said:

“All too often people preload at home on cheap alcohol and are drunk before they even reach the town centre.

“They now face having to provide a specimen of breath to gain access to licensed premises; if they are found to be drunk already, they will be refused entry.

“The limit is set at 80 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath; more than twice the limit for driving which is 35 microgrammes.

“We are working closely with door staff to ensure this new scheme is embedded and becomes normal practice.”

Karim Ayoubi, Chair of Pubwatch, said:

“Pubwatch members are embracing this scheme where people who appear to be drunk may be breathalysed and may then be refused entry to a venue.

“Preloading often means people drink more alcohol in a short space of time, leading to problems for that person later on in the evening.

“We want our customers to have a good time, but also to be aware of the effect of drinking too much, too quickly. As we all know, it can catch up with you all of a sudden later on in the evening!

“This is a really pro-active campaign by our members to tackle alcohol-related issues, even at a time when the number of alcohol-related incidents in town at night is at ten-year low.

"We hope that our customers won't see this as an imposition, but as a signal that Northampton really is one of the safest places to go out at night and have a good time.

“The message from pubs and clubs across Northampton is ‘we serve drinks not drunks’.”

Police will be using #Drinksnotdrunks to promote the campaign.