Serving drinks not drunks: Alcohol screening introduced at pubs and clubs across Northampton

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 devices will provide a guide to doorstaff as to the level of intoxication and this will inform their decision on letting a person in or not.

“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.