Don't let booze bring you down

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 10:57 24/12/2013
limits
Emma Allen

Banding together: A range of Marlborough organisations have come together to promote safer drinking over the festive season. Marlborough Public Health Unit’s Arthur Phillips, left, Burger King Blenheim restaurant manager, Nadia Fuller, Marlborough Public Health Unit’s Coral Hedley, Marlborough District Council road safety coordinator Robyn Blackburn, Marlborough Taxis taxi driver Jim Watson, Blenheim Police Constable Russ Smith, Biddy Kates owner Terry Sloan, Te Hauora O Ngati Rarua co-ordinator Te-Ra Morris, Paddy Barry’s pub owner Liz McElhinney and Marlborough District Council Know Your Limit campaign co-ordinator Russell Montgomery.

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Marlborough people are being urged to know and stick to their limit during this holiday season by a group of regional organisations.

Police, the Marlborough District Council, health providers, bar owners, supermarkets, Drug Arm, food outlets and taxi drivers have banded together to push the "Know Your Limit" campaign.

The campaign was sparked by an evaluation this year of alcohol-related harm which showed Marlborough had a higher level of such harm than the New Zealand average.

It also showed that alcohol-related harm was disproportionately associated with the 18- to 30-year-old age group.

Campaign co-ordinator Russell Montgomery said the campaign aimed to encourage young drinkers to know their limits and to stay within them.

Mr Montgomery had been to every pub, club, supermarket and liquor outlet in Marlborough.

"The response we received has just been really great . . . they realise there are issues around overindulgence with alcohol and all see it as their responsibility to help curb that," he said.

Campaign participants had put "Know Your Limit" bar mats, coasters and posters in pubs, liquor outlets and taxis, and had been handing out lollipops, magnets, and burger vouchers to encourage people to eat plenty of food while they were drinking.

Street ambassadors would be patrolling Marlborough streets with the same merchandise, and the same message that too much alcohol leaves people more vulnerable to harm.

Biddy Kates bar owner Terry Sloan said he was happy to support any sort of campaign which was good for the punters, particularly when they were excited about the festive season.

"If we can prevent injury or any sort of incidents, then the better our community is . . . it's good to see people from all types of divisions getting on board."

Marlborough Primary Health Unit liquor licensing health promoter Coral Hedley said it was important to recognise that they were not trying to stop anyone from drinking. "It's about reducing alcohol-related harm and promoting responsible drinking," she said.

The campaign would run until mid-February.

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