RESPONSIBLE SALES OF ALCOHOL
*Drunkenness is defined as a state of being intoxicated by consumption of alcohol to a degree that mental and physical facilities are noticeably impaired. Common symptoms include slurred speech, impaired balance and uncharacteristic behaviour.
Inspector David Braysmith, who has responsibility for managing the Police Licensing Department, said: “East Riding is one of the safest places in the country but we have to be conscious that serving alcohol to people who are already drunk – is a national problem that all areas face and that we need to tackle.
"It seems to have become more socially acceptable to be drunk in public. Drinking to much alcohol can impair a person's judgement and put them more at risk of becoming a victim of crime, committing a crime or becoming involved with anti-social behaviour. By encouraging licensees to make responsible decisions around the sale of alcohol we hope to reduce these risks.
“The majority of people drink in an entirely responsible way but unfortunately there are some who still drink alcohol to excess and it’s about encouraging licensees to adopt a common sense and lawful approach to alcohol sales.
“While we have seen reductions in both anti-social behaviour and violent crime in recent years the police remain committed to reducing that further, especially ahead of the better weather, a time when there is an increase in people drinking in pubs and clubs.
“Drunken and anti-social behaviour puts significant demands on police resources, and a burden on health services, as well as having a negative impact on the local community.
“The police are reminding the licensing trade that it is an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk, but also to educate the public that they can not lawfully be sold alcohol when drunk.
“The penalty for serving alcohol to someone who is already drunk can be a £80 on the spot fine – which is issued to the member of bar staff making the sale. If the matter was more serious for example, a persistent history of sales to drunks a prosecution and court appearance could follow where up to a £1000 fine could be imposed. Additionally the premises licence could be reviewed.”
Licensees are being offered advice and encouraged to:
1. Train staff on how to pick up on the early stages of intoxication.
2. Offer soft drinks and free water to people who have had too much.
3. Look out for customers while collecting glasses or clearing tables and advise them on their behaviour.
4. Offer to call a taxi for customers to help them get home safely.
5. Make sure they have adequate staffing levels and if appropriate good quality CCTV coverage of their bar or pub.
The ‘Drunk Too Much…Going Home’ campaign is designed to educate drinkers that Humberside Police have the power to issue a person with a dispersal notice, which bans them from an area for up to 48 hours for drunken behaviour.
It is thought drinkers do not widely know about the police dispersal powers and therefore, by pre-warning people, they should be able to make a conscious decision not to get too drunk and end up with a police dispersal notice or arrested if their behaviour goes too far.
Also aligned to alcohol, is an anti-drugs message. Humberside Police are encouraging licensees to become more aware of the use of drugs within licensed premises in particular during the night time trade. We are asking premises to adopt a zero tolerance approach to drugs and are giving them advice and support on pro-active measures they can take to achieve this.
Insp Braysmith said: “Our recent operations indicate that there is widespread use of stimulant based drugs notably cocaine, MCAT and amphetamines in some licensed premises across the East Riding. It is a particular issue for those premises attracting a younger crowd and that are open until the early hours of the morning.
“The combined use of illegal drugs and alcohol can have bizarre and detrimental impacts on a person’s behaviour, creating risks for themselves and others.