Winnie Bagoes to breathalyse patrons

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 09:25 31/01/2014
Winnie Bagoes
Carys Monteath

POPULAR FOR PIZZA: The relocated Winnie Bagoes is busy day and night.

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A Christchurch bar is set to start scanning identification and breathalysing patrons at the door in a bid to weed out troublesome revellers before they make it inside.

Winnie Bagoes on Madras St will introduce a series of new security measures from tomorrow night to ensure patrons at the central city restaurant and bar can enjoy a safe environment on their night out, general manager Chris Davies said.

The measures include introducing a breathalyser on the door, scanning identification to check for fakes, free water for those waiting in line and a stricter dress code.

Davies said the police-calibrated breathalyser was used on those who were clearly intoxicated, but "want to argue the point".

"They can't argue with the machine so they tend to accept it."

The new ID scanners took photographs of each patron's identification, allowing it to be passed on to police if necessary, and the security company Winnie Bagoes used already wore small cameras on their badges to be used as needed.

"That's no different to passing on CCTV footage. If you've got nothing to hide, what's the problem. None of the technology's new; none of this is going to report to Facebook that you were in Winnie Bagoes."

Winnie Bagoes had considered the changes for several months ahead of new alcohol laws that came into force in December.

The measures were also partly prompted by an incident outside the bar in July, where a 23-year-old man's jaw was broken when he was bottled during a brawl.

"We want to be proactive, not reactive. We want to lead the charge," Davies said.

"Really what we're looking for is a little bit of respect for yourself, for our venue, for other people and show a little bit of maturity that you're not just out to get tanked."

Revival co-owner Brett Giddens said his Victoria St bar trialled the ID scanners last year, but found they were "ineffective" without enough other venues using them.

"If we get a few more people bringing it in, then we'll look at it again."

However, he did not believe other measures, like breathalysers at the door, were necessary unless a bar had ongoing problems.

Revival's strict dress code, combined with "good security", was enough to prevent trouble arising, he said.

Smash Palace owner Johnny Moore said he had not looked at bringing in extra security measures, but thought his "boring adult crowd" probably did not need them as much as a busy late-night venue like Winnie Bagoes.

"I suppose it's a good idea with the new liquor licensing laws to make sure you're compliant. We're certainly comfortable with where we are at the moment."

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