CHESHIRE East Council is spearheading the introduction of an initiative to reduce drunkenness across the borough.
‘Drink Less, Enjoy More’ (DLEM) is primarily aimed at people aged 18-30 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 it is being rolled out by public health teams across Merseyside and Cheshire – including Cheshire East.
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.
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 services, police and other public services.
The initiative aims to raise awareness of the 2003 Licensing Act, which made it 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. However, local research shows only half of people are aware of the law.
Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communities, said: “Alcohol misuse costs Cheshire East public services more than £136m – or £369 for every man, woman and child living in our borough. In addition, alcohol misuse has devastating effects on individuals, their family, friends and local communities.”
And Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, added: “We want our young people in the borough to enjoy life in Cheshire East – but keep safe.
“We’re not trying to take the fun out of going out – we simply want to encourage people not to drink to excess to the point where their health or safety are at risk.
“Don’t ruin a great night out by having someone in your group end up in A&E or a police cell.”
The Drink Less, Enjoy More 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 by liking on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/drinklessenjoymore or following on Twitter via @drinkless_enjoy