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Norwich nightspots to begin breathalysing clubbers

Bars and clubs in Norwich may begin preventing clubbers from entering if they fail a breathalyser test, in a new scheme starting on the 30th November.

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Door staff at up to thirty venues in the city centre will be armed with breathalysers in an attempt to discourage people from drinking excessive quantities of alcohol and ‘pre drinking’ before they go out.

A record of breathalyser readings taken will be kept by clubs displaying ‘Are you trollied? #DeepBreath’ signs, with the findings evaluated pending a month long trial. Whilst there is currently no set alcohol limit at which clubs will have to bar people from entering, police are launching the scheme under the assumption that establishments will responsibly prevent overly intoxicated people from entering.

The initiative follows on from a successful trial undertaken in September, in which police officers worked with venue staff to encourage clubbers to take voluntary breathalyser tests in a bid to raise awareness amongst drinkers’ of the number of units they had consumed. The move is the latest by local police to combat late night crime and anti-social behaviour in Norwich, particularly in the Prince of Wales Road area.

Inspector Ed Brown of the Norfolk Constabulary told the Eastern Daily Press: “It’s about getting people to realise how much alcohol they are drinking before heading into clubs. All too often we deal with people who are so drunk they cannot think straight and can barely walk. They lose all sense of responsibility which clearly makes them vulnerable and that’s where the risk increases of someone becoming a victim of crime, being injured or involved in violence and disorder.

Problems around violent crime and anti-social behaviour in the night-time economy will not be solved in isolation and we will continue to work with venues and partner agencies to tackle these issues with traditional and innovative approaches.”

03/12/2013

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