Newmarket clubbers to be breathalysed on way into town venues

Donna Woollard the DPS of Unique Nightclub
Donna Woollard the DPS of Unique Nightclub
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Revellers in Newmarket are being asked to think whether they are ‘too drunk’ as they enter clubs.

Last weekend (31 October and 1 November) police handed out breathalysers to Innocence and Unique Nightclubs to carry out voluntary breath tests to see if clubbers were sober enough in a bid to raise awareness of issues around pre-loading and binge drinking

The exercise was well-received and police hope the scheme, which saw four people refused entry, will get people thinking about the amount of alcohol they drink before heading out.

PC Amanda Garnham from Suffolk Constabulary’s licensing team, said: “These devices allow door staff to better gauge how much alcohol someone has had and in turn help them refuse entry to someone who is too drunk.

“This gives additional protection to venues who might otherwise be concerned at the prospect of inadvertently selling alcohol to somebody who is already drunk which is obviously an offence.

“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.

“We want to support venues and assist door staff in turning people away who may not always appear drunk on the surface.”

Donna Woollard, the designated premises supervisor of Unique nightclub said, “It’s a fantastic idea and a great tool to have. People are less inclined to argue if they blow a high reading and are refused entry or service”

The breath tests were provided by Suffolk Police but used and carried out by door staff at venues. Posters titled ‘too drunk?’ were displayed in the venues taking part in the scheme, explaining that clubbers may be required to take a breath test.

PC Garnham added: “We have also hired out our ‘alcoblow wand’ to Brazilia night club in Bury St Edmunds and Carbon in Stowmarket, for use on their under 18 events. If customers had a trace of alcohol on their breath, they were refused entry. This was also a success and helped combat crime, putting out a clear message that drunkenness will not be tolerated.”