Crackdown as pubs and clubs use breathalysers in Portsmouth

Bars in Guildhall Walk, above, and Gunwharf Quays are to introduce random breath tests at the door
Bars in Guildhall Walk, above, and Gunwharf Quays are to introduce random breath tests at the door
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REVELLERS are set to be breathalysed at night-time hotspots in a bid to crackdown on booze-fuelled violence.

Five bars and clubs in Gunwharf Quays and Guildhall Walk are set to use eight breathalysers, bought by Portsmouth City Council for £2,300, in a trial.

Similar schemes have been introduced in London and Weymouth in Dorset.

Checks will be random and voluntary – but anyone who refuses could be turned away at the door.

Portsmouth Pubwatch chair Gemma Sands, who manages Lyberry and Astoria in Guildhall Walk, is taking part.

She said: ‘I’m pleased to be part of this research and think it’s a worthwhile thing to trial in the city.

‘The Lyberry and Astoria pride themselves on being responsible venues and we want to make sure that everyone coming here has a fun and safe night out.

‘We’re hopeful that random breathalyser tests will make people think twice about how much they drink before coming here and that they will reduce the chance of any unnecessary drunken incidents.’

The announcement has had a mixed reaction from people in Guildhall Walk.

Second-year University of Portsmouth student Bethan Roscoe, 21, said it should only be done if people are ‘out of it’.

Bethan, of Jessie Road, Southea, said: ‘I think safeguarding is always good. If there’s a valid reason to breathalyse someone then go ahead, but not every single person.’

But Charlotte Cox, 27, of Green Lane, Southsea, said: ‘It’s a really good idea.

‘I think part of the problem is a lot of people pre-drink.

‘By the time they get to the clubs they’re hammered.

‘I’ve got concerns with safeguarding and the state people get in, I don’t think it’s unreasonable.

‘The responsibility is on the club owner when people are passing out and being sick.’

But Josh Shadbolt, 22, of Conan Road, Hilsea, was not keen.

He said: ‘People go to clubs and pubs to get smashed.

‘They go there to have a good time.

‘You start telling people they’re not allowed in, they’re going to go the next place.’

Councillor Luke Stubbs is cabinet member for public health at the city council.

He said the move wasn’t about being a ‘killjoy’.

Cllr Stubbs said: ‘An isolated number of people drinking to excess is often the cause behind fights, injuries and vandalism, which as well as being no fun for all those affected also increases the pressure on the police and A&E, who are already stretched.’