Clubbers in Liverpool’s Ropewalks area may be asked to take a breath test before they are served.
Door supervisors in bars and clubs are being issued with breathalysers as part of a new campaign called “Say No to Drunks” which aims to stop people who have had too much to drink being served further alcohol.
“Say No to Drunks”, a Citysafe initiative, has been developed to raise awareness that it is illegal to serve anybody who appears to be drunk and so ensure that the law is observed.
Bar staff , who serve people who are drunk, could be issued with a £90 fixed penalty notice and if it goes to court the fine could be up to £1000 on conviction. Premises could also have their licence reviewed.
The breathalysers, which are similar to devices used by the police, will only be used sparingly by bar staff on customers who they believe have had too much to drink and are one of a number of tests which can be applied for judging whether they should be served.
Around 25 bars and clubs in Ropewalks have agreed to take part in the pilot scheme. .
The campaign also:
• Provides bars with materials aimed at both staff and public to raise awareness of the law. Posters featuring characters such as “Bevvied up Bev’ and ‘Tanked up Tommy’ will be prominently displayed.
• Delivers training to bar staff through the Liverpool City Council Alcohol and Tobacco Unit to help them confidently refuse to sell to people who are or appear to be drunk
Councillor Roz Gladden Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for social care and health said “Unfortunately, you can see people worse for wear through drink in Liverpool’s night time economy. We know that people ‘preloading’ – drinking before they go out- significantly adds to this problem.
“It is important that we try and reduce the levels of drunkenness, not only for the sake of individuals’ health but because of the impact it has on A&E departments in hospitals across the city at weekends in particular.
“Alcohol misuse costs Liverpool an estimated £204 million per year”.
Councillor Emily Spurrell, Mayoral Lead for Community Safety added her support for the work. She said “Records show that a high level of people arrested for violent offences in Liverpool city centre late at night have been drinking. We want people to drink responsibly and for bar staff to know what their responsibilities are.
“This campaign draws the attention of bars to the legal position of potential prosecution for selling alcohol to people who are drunk while the breathalysers can be used as a mechanism to help door staff refuse entry to those who have had too much to drink.”
Superintendent Mark Wiggins, from Merseyside Police, said: “We know that around 50 per cent of all violent crimes committed are alcohol related and that if you drink at home, then go out, you are more likely to be involved in violence, either as a victim or as an offender.
“Liverpool’s night time economy is rightly famous and the vast majority of people have a safe and enjoyable night out in our city.
“This pilot scheme isn’t aimed at those who drink responsibly – it’s there to help identify the small minority of people who have had too much alcohol and could end up being a danger either to themselves or others.
“If successful, it should help to make Liverpool an even safer place for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a night out.”