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Breathalysers Trialed Outside Scarborough Bars

This weekend saw the first 'Alcoblow' trial in Scarborough where drinkers suspected of having one too many were asked to provide a breath sample.

Woman Blowing Into Alcoblow Breathalyser

Funded by the town’s Safer Communities Partnership the trial involved Alcoblow breathalysers being used by door staff in the St Nicholas Street area on Saturday night.

The Alcoblow device is described as a simple to use, 'rapid response' instrument that is used to determine whether or not a person has any alcohol in their breath without any physical contact between the subject and instrument.

Interestingly Lion Laboratories Limited, the company behind the Alcoblow, claim that the device can be used both actively, where the subject blows voluntarily into the sampling cone, or passively where the operator presses a button to draw in a sample of breath from around the subject, ideally while they are speaking.

The first of two pilot schemes, Saturday night was is part of a bigger campaign due in Autumn to tackle 'pre-loading' - a growing trend where people 'pre-load' themselves by drinking cheap alcohol before heading out into town.

While door staff are still expected to use their experience and discretion to asses people's levels on intoxication, the new devices are expected to help door staff make a more informed decisions about whether individuals should be allowed entry.

To give you an idea of what would be considered 'too drunk' a breath/alcohol reading of three times or higher than the current drink-drive limit would greatly reduce the chances of someone being granted entry.

Tony Snow, Chairman of Scarborough PubWatch said of the trial:

"A safe and vibrant night time economy is something we all strive for. We are committed to working with the police and council to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder."

"Breathalyser readings will help door staff make informed decisions about whether someone should or shouldn't be allowed entry and should help reduce the flash-points that are created when people are overly intoxicated."

Sandra Rees, Scarborough Borough Council Community Safety Manager and Safeguarding Officer added:

"The Safer Communities Partnership will be trialing the Alcoblow devices in St Nicholas Street and surrounding areas, where traditionally there are alcohol-related issues, particularly late on a Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday morning."

"Though the readings themselves will not ultimately determine whether someone is allowed into a bar or not, they will provide additional information for security staff to help them decide if a person is fit to enter."

"The response from licensees to this trial and other schemes that are in the pipeline as part of the Local Alcohol Action Area project has been very pleasing and we hope it will have a positive impact on Scarborough’s night time economy."

The new breathalysers are just one of several new initiatives aimed at tackling alcohol-related issues in the town following the council’s successful bid to secure Local Alcohol Action Area status for the area.

Scarborough is one of 20 Local Alcohol Action Areas selected by the Government to trial initiatives to combat drink-fueled crime and disorder and the damage caused to people’s health.

This status will see the town benefiting from extra support and guidance from the Government and NHS England to help the council and its partners tackle the harmful effects of excessive drinking and improve the night time economy.

Sgt Rachel Wood from North Yorkshire Police said:

"These devices will support door staff in the difficult job of challenging people who have had too much to drink. North Yorkshire Police remains committed to dealing robustly with anyone who tries to gain entry to venues while drunk and also tackling any premises, which allow entry to drunken people."

The next trail will be on Saturday 9 August.

Breathalysers Trialed Outside Scarborough Bars Reviewed by Editor on 17:28:00 Rating: 5

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