Breath test bid to end re­sort binge drink­ing

North Wales Weekly News - - NEWS - BY JEZ HEMMING [email protected]­i­tymir­ @JezWeek­lyNews

ANEW tool in the quest to stop binge drink­ing and un­ruly be­hav­iour is be­ing tri­alled in Llan­dudno this Christ­mas.

From to­mor­row (Fri­day), as part of Op­er­a­tion Mistle­toe, door staff at Club 147 and Foun­tains in the town will be able to breathal­yse any­one they sus­pect of be­ing too drunk to be­have re­spon­si­bly.

Aaron Hag­gas, North Wales Po­lice’s li­cens­ing of­fi­cer says the early ev­i­dence sug­gests it could re­duce prob­lems caused by heavy drink­ing.

“It’s just a pi­lot and let’s see how venues find the process,” he told the Weekly News. “In other ar­eas where it has been used they have seen a re­duc­tion in crime and disorder and drunken disor­derly be­hav­iour.

“Hope­fully it will en­cour­age peo­ple not to preload be­fore a night out.”

PC Mike Smith, West Conwy Part­ner­ships Of­fi­cer, says not ev­ery­one will have to give a breath sam­ple.

“It’s the nor­mal driv­ing breathal­yser,” he said. “We would sug­gest that if peo­ple are three times over the drink driv­ing limit (around 100mi­cro­grammes of al­co­hol per 100 millil­itres of breath) then that would be a good bench­mark.”

PC Smith was keen to stress this should not be used as a way of see­ing if peo­ple were fit to drive home.

“If the door su­per­vi­sors are sus­pi­cious they can re­quest the per­son to take the breathal­yser test and judge by the read­ing in com­par­i­son to the drink drive limit whether they are safe to be al­lowed en­try or not,” he ex­plained.

“It will not be used as a method for peo­ple to check and see if they can drive home. The mes­sage to peo­ple hav­ing a night out is to leave the car at home.”

Richard Lewis and John Pot­ter are direc­tors of Guardian Pro­tec­tion Unit which cov­ers the doors at Club 147.

“It’s def­i­nitely a good bar­gain­ing tool,” said Richie. “It’s a way of dif­fus­ing an ar­gu­ment when some­one is ar­gu­ing that they have not been drink­ing.”

“It’s just re­duc­ing that con­fronta­tion with cus­tomers,” said John. “It makes it a lot quicker and a lot more ef­fec­tive, rather than ar­gu­ing for 20 min­utes with some­one.”

The breathal­y­sers are just one of a host of ideas be­ing used as part of Op­er­a­tion Mistle­toe.

Taxi mar­shalls will be keep­ing queues or­derly and hand­ing out wa­ter to keep peo­ple hy­drated and pub­watch will be util­is­ing a new com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem.

Re­fusal at one premises or in­volve­ment in a dis­tur­bance will mean trou­ble­mak­ers will not gain en­try to any premises in Llan­dudno, Conwy, Llan­dudno Junc­tion or Col­wyn Bay.

Dis­per­sal no­tices will also be used in the event of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour. Any­one asked to leave and stay away from an area, then breaks the or­der, could be ar­rested and be taken into cus­tody.

Yet the wish from PC Smith is for peo­ple to en­joy them­selves.

“It’s about keep­ing peo­ple safe this Christ­mas,” he said. “There’s so many peo­ple go­ing out to have a nice night. We want them to have a nice night in peace. It’s about po­lice, PCSOs door staff and taxi mar­shalls all in pert­ner­ship.

Aaron Hag­gas (li­cens­ing of­fi­cer North Wales Po­lice), Richie Lewis (di­rec­tor Guardian Pro­tec­tion Unit), PC Mike Smith (West Conwy Part­ner­ships Of­fi­cer), John Pot­ter (di­rec­tor Guardian Pro­tec­tion Unit), Jamie Brad­bury (man­ager Club 147) Mike No­den...

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