‘Say No to Drunks’ urges new campaign

Published Wednesday 14 December 2016 at 13:19

Blackburn with Darwen leaders are backing a new campaign that aims to help people stay safe when out by stopping those who have had too much to drink being served further alcohol.

Blackburn with Darwen Council and partners, including Lancashire Police, are working with licensees and local people from across the borough as part of the ‘Say No to Drunks’ scheme to remind them that it is illegal to serve anybody who appears to be drunk to ensure that the law is observed and people can remain safe whilst out with friends and family.

Bar staff serving people who are drunk could be issued with a £90 fixed penalty notice and if it goes to court the fine could be up to £1000 on conviction. Premises could also have their licence reviewed, face possible temporary closures as well as run the risk of confrontation with drunken customers which may escalate into aggression and violence more quickly and have more mess to clear up from spillages, breakages or vomit.

Anyone drinking more alcohol when they are already drunk increases the risk of various negative, unwanted outcomes such as accidents, assaults or drink driving incidents.

Councillor Brian Taylor, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Assistant Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:

We want people to feel safe when they are out in our towns. This campaign draws the attention of bars, pubs and clubs to the legal position of potential prosecution for selling alcohol to people who are drunk but it’s also aimed at people drinking in those establishments to let them know, if you are drunk you can’t expect to be served.

Councillor Arshid Mahmood, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhood and Prevention Services, said:

This scheme isn’t aimed at those who drink responsibly – it’s there to help identify the small minority of people who have had too much alcohol and could end up being a danger either to themselves or others. We know that people who consume alcohol are two and half times more likely to become a victim or an offender in relation to violence. We want people to think before they drink and for licensees or bar staff to be aware of the laws so they don’t face a fine or worse.

Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer from Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said:

We are happy to back this scheme. Alcohol and its effects has a huge impact on NHS services, particularly A & E and urgent care which are already extremely busy at this time of year. It can also lead to other health issues such as mental health conditions, heart and liver disease and cancer. We also need to address the bigger issue of those who don’t go to pubs and bars, but drink at home and educate them on the dangers of drinking regularly and to excess.

Licensing Officer Sgt Jason Middleton, from Lancashire Police, said:

We want people to enjoy their nights out particularly over the Christmas period but people need to remember to drink responsibly and know when they have had enough. If you are refused alcohol by bar staff because they believe you are drunk then that member of bar staff is doing his job and perhaps doing you a favour that you may appreciate the following morning.

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