Police in York have unveiled their latest tool to help curb drink-induced disorder in the city.
Breathalysers have been given to door staff at a number of licensed premises to help stop people who have had too much to drink from getting in to bars and clubs.
While door staff will still use discretion over an individual’s level of intoxication and whether or not they are in a fit state to enter their premises, a breath/alcohol reading of twice the drink drive limit or higher could greatly increase the chances of someone being refused entry.
Not everyone will be breathalysed, just those who are suspected of having already had too much to drink.
Acting Inspector Andy Godfrey of York Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The breathalysers are another tool to help us tackle drink-related disorder and violence. Many people pre-load before going out for the evening and are already heavily intoxicated before they enter a bar.
“Much of the disorder and violence we are called to deal with is triggered by excessive alcohol intake. Being drunk and out of control also makes people more vulnerable. The breathalysers will support door staff in the difficult job of challenging people who they believe have drunk too much.
“So far, the devices have been well received by local licensees and we hope they will have a positive impact on York’s thriving nightlife.”
Nine devices were trialled at various venues over the weekend of 9 January and a further six will be given to licences premises this coming weekend.
Jane Mowat of the Safer York Partnership, which has funded some of the breathalysers, added: “We are delighted to support this initiative which hopefully will not only raise awareness about how much individuals have actually been drinking but also assist in our long term aims to ensure the safety of all those who come to York to enjoy our nightlife.”
The breathalysers are part of a number of initiatives introduced in by North Yorkshire Police in partnership with the City of York Council, the Safer York Partnership, NHS, door staff, members of Pubwatch, Street Angels, British Transport Police and York University, to help keep alcohol fuelled disorder to a minimum.
York police have also introduced new security briefings ahead of each weekend evening. These are attended by door staff, Street Angels and other agencies who help to keep people safe during the night time economy.
Policing patrols are also stepped up during weekend evenings and are boosted by Special Constables who provide additional policing resources voluntarily.