Strict sobriety rules for entry

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:21 06/02/2013

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Drunk people will not be allowed into the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival on Saturday, police say.

Operation commander Inspector Ross Lienert, of Tasman, said police would work with security guards, and people who showed signs of being drunk would not be allowed into the Brancott Estate venue near Blenheim.

This included moderately drunk people who were slurring their words or were unsteady on their feet.

"It's about getting there safely and having a good time," Mr Lienert said. "It's not about getting intoxicated."

Police officers would be easy to spot at the festival and they would be focused on managing risk and keeping the public safe, he said.

A public safety unit will patrol the venue as well as areas around Blenheim on Saturday night, just as they did during and after the Blues, Brews and BBQs festival at the A & P Showgrounds in Blenheim last Saturday, he said.

Police had planned for up to 7000 at Blues, Brews and BBQs, but only about 2000 were at the venue at any one time so officers had a relatively quiet night.

"It was as close to an incident-free night as we could get," Mr Lienert said.

"From a police point of view, it was a lot easier to manage [than previous years]."

No-one had been caught drink-driving while travelling to or from the festival, Mr Lienert said.

About 8000 people usually attend the Wine and Food Festival.

The festival crowd was likely to be more family oriented and older than the Blues, Brews and BBQs crowd, and would include a lot of people who had travelled there from out of town, Mr Lienert said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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