Daily Archives: 28/04/2015

Breathalyser ‘on the door’ schemes see further roll-out

This is being reblogged from Alcohol Policy UK as they do such a great write up that I don’t see the point in re-inventing the wheel 🙂 Breathalyser ‘on the door’ schemes see further roll-out

A growing number of areas are introducing breathalysers on the door of premises in attempts to reduce alcohol-related problems. The initiatives appear to be gaining momentum following particular successes reported in Torquay and Norwich.

An evaluation of a pilot involving 23 of Torquay’s key nightspots during December 2014 claimed to have reduced violent crime by 39%. Torquay named the initiative #RU2drunk to help promote awareness of the scheme which saw doormen breathalyse over 800 people, of whom over one third were subsequently refused entry. However premises decided on their own criteria and not all opted for a fixed limit for refusing entry.

Police in Norwich were reportedly the first to use the scheme in 2013, which has since been continued ‘indefinitely’. The Norwich initiative was reported to have reduced violent crime by 32% and drunk and disorderly arrests by 66%. 

Other similar schemes have been recently reported in Northampton, Mansfield, York, Birmingham, Durham, Liverpool and other areas. In London, the Met police are looking at wider roll-out of the scheme following pilots in Croydon and other boroughs which have used a breath alcohol content reading of 0.70 – twice the legal drink drive limit – as a basis for refusing entry.

All in favour?  

As part of the evaluation of Torquay’s scheme, Exeter University found 79% of the public thought it was a good idea, and 70% of licensees thought the scheme should continue.

Some pubs elsewhere however have rejected the scheme, and speaking at the 2015 Pubwatch conference, Norfolk Police licensing Inspector Ed Brown said that he had been named “captain killjoy of the fun police”. However he said there had been “a lot of rumour, myth and scaremongering” about the nature of the scheme.

Indeed many of the premises have used breathalysers as an aid to door staff’s decision making, rather than universally applying a fixed limit. Exeter University researcher Dr Katherine Boyd said using the breathalyser was welcomed by many door staff as it reduced room for argument about the person’s level of drunkenness, thus reducing conflicts.

Changing attitudes to drunkeness and the Night Time Economy?

Last year a report ‘One too many?’ called for a review of the legislation on ‘sales to drunks’ – one of the most under enforced laws on the statute books. It highlighted that addressing drunkenness and associated problems is a complex area for which no single initiative is likely to provide a lasting solution. So whilst initiatives such as breathalysing on the door may show positive local results, achieving longer term shifts in attitudes towards pre-loading and drunkenness may require sustainable action on many such fronts.

I like this initiative a great deal 🙂 What do you think?

3rd May 2015 Edited to add: this has now been extended in Cambridgeshire to include the town centre McDonald’s and football ground

Breath test with your Big Mac