Bar staff get tough on drunks

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 08/07/2014
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Timaru bar staff are taking a tougher stance against intoxication, police say.

Alcohol harm reduction officer Sergeant Grant Lord said a patrol of Timaru bars at the weekend by police and Community and Public Health staff found most people were well-behaved. "Saturday was a good night," he said.

Security staff were becoming more vigilant about not letting intoxicated people into bars, he said.

On Saturday night police dealt with a couple of people for liquor ban offences and one, a 19-year-old, was arrested for intoxication. He spent the night in the cells.

"He came from a restaurant and we've already approached that restaurant," Lord said.

There were also two people processed for excess breath-alcohol at the weekend. A 55-year-old man stopped on Friday night blew 473 micrograms per litre of breath and a 52-year-old man, who was stopped on Saturday, blew 525mcg. The limit is 400mcg.

Lord said monitoring of bars by police was "business as normal" at the weekend.

The bars were not unusually busy, despite students being on their mid-year break.

The main aspect being monitored was how front door staff assessed intoxication levels.

"Duty managers and front door staff are . . . getting better at identifying people who perhaps shouldn't be coming to town to drink because they are already pretty intoxicated," Lord said.

"Pubs are doing a better job now than they used to."

Lord said the message was simple.

"If you are p....., don't come to town to drink. Publicans don't want you and we don't want intoxicated people in bars."

Christchurch police are also expected to monitor the situation again in the coming weeks, he said.

"They've got units that have a district-wide responsibility," Lord said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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