Under 30s urged to drink less and enjoy more

New campaign from Cheshire East Council

Cheshire East Council is spearheading the introduction of an initiative to reduce drunkenness across the borough.

‘Drink Less, Enjoy More’ (DLEM) is primarily aimed at people aged 18-30 and warns that they risk having their night out cut short as bar staff may refuse to serve them.

DLEM has been running in nearby Liverpool since 2015, but now it is being rolled out by public health teams across Merseyside and Cheshire – including Cheshire East.

The aim is to encourage young people to cut back on how much they drink at home before going out (pre-drinking) as well as how much they consume when visiting bars, pubs and clubs. 

The council is reminding people that drunkenness can have immediate health consequences, such as alcohol poisoning, and can contribute to sexual violence, accidents and violent crimes.

It can also place a large burden on health services, police and other public services.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of the 2003 Licensing Act, which made it illegal:

- To buy alcohol for someone who is clearly drunk; or

- For bar staff to serve someone who is clearly drunk

Both offences are punishable with a fine of up to £1,000 and premises found to be serving people who are clearly drunk are also at risk of being stripped of their licence.

Local research, however, shows that only half of people are aware of the law.  

Cllr Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communities, commented: “Alcohol misuse costs Cheshire East public services more than £136m or £369 for every man, woman and child living in our borough.

“In addition, alcohol misuse has devastating effects on individuals, their family, friends and local communities.”

Cllr Liz Wardlaw, cabinet member for health, said: “We want our young people in the borough to enjoy life in Cheshire East – but keep safe.

“We’re not trying to take the fun out of going out – we simply want to encourage people not to drink to excess to the point where their health or safety are at risk.

“Don’t ruin a great night out by having someone in your group end up in A&E or a police cell.”

Cllr Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for licensing, added: “We are asking bar owners and staff to be vigilant and to ensure that they are not serving people who are clearly drunk.

“We generally have very responsible bar, pub and club management in Cheshire East, who will work with us and local police to help enforce the law.”

Communication of the ‘Drink Less, Enjoy More’ programme will feature a range of advertising, including posters with text conversations between friends to illustrate how their night out could be ruined if they ignore the law.

These include, for example: “Dean, don’t get too smashed mate! We won’t get served anywhere later”

More information can be found online at: www.drinklessenjoymore.co.uk

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