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Breathalyser tests to be trialled at Cambridge pubs and nightclubs

REVELLERS may well find themselves asked to take a breath test in order to get into Cambridge pubs and nightclubs as part of a pilot scheme to combat binge drinking.

The breathalyser kits will be issued to security staff at busy city centre venues who will be able to request a breath test from individuals who already seem to be heavily intoxicated.

The breathalysers would not be used as a requirement to entry but would be one of the tools available to support security staff who often become the victims of drunk aggressive behaviour in denying entry to venues to those who are obviously intoxicated.

Funding for the trail has been provided by Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright to help combat alcohol misuse and subsequent alcohol incidents.  Commenting on the scheme Sir Graham said: “The trend these days is for people to “preload” with alcohol at home before heading out.  The result of this can be that people are very drunk towards the end of the evening putting themselves and others at risk. I want people to enjoy a night out but to do so responsibly.  Increasingly the police and the health service are required to deal with the consequences of excessive drinking and I hope this scheme will help reduce the number of people who get into trouble as a result of their drinking.”

Alcohol is a factor in around half of all violent crime and it is estimated that the annual cost to UK society of alcohol related harm is £21 billion1.

Trials in other parts of the country have been found to reduce the number of disorders at venues by around a third.  The devices are very accurate and can even pick up whether “soft drinks” being carried into venues actually contain alcohol.

Twenty devices and to be made available to twenty venues making harder for intoxicated members of the public choosing a drinking venue to avoid the devices.

Joseph Keegan, Alcohol Strategic Lead at Cambridgeshire County Council says: “The Council is very concerned about people putting their health at risk by drinking to excess at home before they leave for the City Centre. Each person who is turned away from a venue will be offered a drink scratch card which will give them information about their drinking risk levels and advice on cutting down on alcohol use. The Council supports this campaign as it helps to promote messages around good health as well as reducing the risk of violent crime”

Reference 1

These costs are given in the Department of Health’s written evidence to the Health Select Committee (19 July 2012)




Notes to editors


Media enquiries to:

Charles Kitchin – Director of Public Engagement & Communications

Director of Public Engagement & Communications

Tel DD: 01954 713906

Mobile: 07809 332291


About The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

Sir Graham Bright is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire.

Police and Crime Commissioners have responsibility for delivering an efficient and effective police service in their area. Commissioners set police and crime objectives, the police budget and issue crime and disorder reduction grants through the Police and Crime Plan. Commissioners also hold the police to account, making them answerable to the public.

Further details can be found on the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner website.


Charles Kitchin

Director of Public Engagement and Communications

Office of the Cambridgeshire Police & Crime Commissioner

PO BOX 688, Huntingdon, PE29 9LA


Tel DD: 01954 713906

Mobile: 07809 332291

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