Clubbers take part in voluntary breath tests

23 September 2013

Clubbers in Norwich were breath tested as they headed to bars and clubs on Saturday as part of an operation highlighting the dangers of binge-drinking.

Police teamed up with door staff to carry out the voluntary tests, which were well-supported by party-goers keen to see how much alcohol they had already consumed.

The exercise was held to raise awareness of issues around pre-loading, with party-goers often drinking large amounts of alcohol before hitting the streets.

Two venues agreed for tests to be completed outside the clubs – Fluke on Prince of Wales between 10.50pm and 11.55pm and Kartel in London Street between 1.40am and 3.05am:

Seventy-five breath tests were completed outside venues with 86microgrammes being the highest reading taken at 2.50am in Bank Plain. The drink drive limit is 35microgrammes.

A handful of clubbers were turned away from the venues for being too drunk and Inspector Ed Brown, from Norfolk Constabulary’s licensing team, said the tests went to down well with clubbers.

“These tests were carried out on a voluntary basis and not as a condition of entry. Many people opting to take the test had already been refused entry to the venues for being too drunk, decisions which were then evidenced by people taking the test. All those who were turned away had blown readings of 70microgrammes or more.”

Additional officers were on patrol on Saturday night to raise awareness among clubbers about the dangers of excessive drinking.

The activity was held as part of ACPO In Focus: Alcohol Harm week – with police forces across the country highlighting the realities of dealing with drunkenness and alcohol-related incidents.

A team of officers worked alongside regular public order patrols, handing out promotional material, chatting with party-goers and liaising with the many volunteer support services such as the Street Pastors and SOS Bus.

Police also tweeted live updates on the operation throughout the night, posting pictures and safety advice with a twist.

Tweets from @NorwichPoliceUK included:

 

  • One vodka, two vodka, three vodka, four...too much pre-loading will leave you on the floor #alcoholharm#paceyourself
  • In the words of Daft Punk...we're out all night 'til the sun...you're out all night to have fun...but ending up in a cell #notsolucky
  • Dress £60, shoes £85, matching handbag £50...drinking so much that they all end up covered in sick...priceless! #alcoholharm
  • Clubbers...make it a night to remember for the right reasons. There's no shame in having soft drinks in between alcoholic ones!
  • Man involved in disorder is told to call it a night...he's been given a direction to leave #hitthesack
  • As the night goes on, we would like to point out we can't accept reports of 'lost' inhibitions so try and keep hold of some....#alcoholharm

 

Followers responded positively to the live updates with comments including:

  • @NorwichPoliceUK doing a great (and hilarious) job of tweeting tonight's events in Beirut, aka Prince of Wales Road...
  • @NorwichPoliceUK Well done guys and girls. Keep it up!
  • @CanaryWorf @NorwichPoliceUK Without doubt someone with a great sense of humour. Tweets getting better as the night goes on.
  • @norwichpoliceuk Thank you for keeping a 'fine city' safe. Be careful out there.
  • Looks like @norwichpoliceuk are live tweeting Prince of Wales Rd tonight, with added funnys, its threatening to all get very David Brent.

 

Beer mats, postcards and posters, with tips on how to stay safe including sticking with friends and planning your journey home were delivered to pubs, clubs and budget hotels over the weekend.

A passive drugs dog was deployed and made several positive indications resulting in 10 people being searched, although no drugs were found.

Chief Inspector Gavin Tempest, who co-ordinated Saturday’s operation, said: “This was a successful operation and the breath test exercise did get revellers thinking about the amount of alcohol they drink every weekend which is what we wanted.

“This operation was not about enforcement and arresting people but instead focusing on the issues of vulnerability which can come about as a result of excessive drinking and how we can better tackle these working in partnership with pre-existing support services.

“We often deal with people who are so drunk they cannot think straight and lose all sense of responsibility and it is these people who are most at risk of becoming a victim of crime, being injured or involved in violence.

“Our message is go out and have a good time but know your limits and be responsible for your actions.”

In addition to Saturday’s operation police also held a live web chat on Thursday focusing on issues around alcohol harm, while a new bus advertising campaign was also launched.

Adverts will feature inside and on the back of buses in Norwich over the next three weeks encouraging clubbers to know their limits.

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