New council scheme aims to stop young adults getting too drunk in Chester

Reporter:

Steve Creswell

A SCHEME to deter young adults from getting too drunk on nights out has been launched in the borough.

‘Drink Less Enjoy More’ (DLEM) is primarily aimed at 18 to 30-year-olds and warns that they risk having their night out cut short as bar staff may refuse to serve them.

DLEM has been running in Liverpool since 2015, but now public health teams across Merseyside and Cheshire, including Cheshire West and Chester Council, are rolling it out as well.

The aim is to encourage young people to cut back on how much they drink at home before going out – so-called ‘pre-loading’ - as well as how much they consume when visiting bars, pubs and clubs.

Council chiefs have stressed that drunkenness can have immediate health consequences such as alcohol poisoning, and can contribute to sexual violence, accidents and violent crimes. It places a large burden on health, police and other public services.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of the 2003 Licensing Act, which states it is illegal to: buy alcohol for someone who is clearly drunk; and for bar staff to serve someone who is clearly drunk.

Both offences are punishable with a fine of up to £1,000 and premises found to be serving people who are clearly drunk are also at risk of being stripped of their licence – but local research shows only half of people are aware of the law.

Ian Ashworth, director of public health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “We are working with a wide range of partners, including Cheshire Police and bars within Chester to raise awareness of the law and help bar staff to confidently refuse to serve people who have drank too much alcohol. We want to ensure people enjoy their evening out in Chester and stay safe.”

The council's cabinet member for communities and wellbeing, Cllr Louise Gittins, added: “The police, ambulance service and hospitals are already under a lot of pressure and this is about reducing the strain on these services. The city of Chester experiences a lot of residents, students and visitors to the centre and the Drink Less Enjoy More campaign aims to reduce drunkenness and anti-social behaviour. The police are actively enforcing these laws and encouraging people to drink sensibly, consequently creating a safer city for residents, students and visitors.”

Communication of the DLEM programme features a range of advertising including posters with text conversations between friends to illustrate how their night out could be ruined if they ignore the law.

More information can be found online at www.drinklessenjoymore.co.uk, liking on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drinklessenjoymore or following on Twitter @drinkless_enjoy

Email:

steve.creswell@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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