Nightclubs start breathalysing clubbers as they arrive and can turn people away

Clubbers could be facing much tamer nights out after venues started introducing breathalyser tests.

The initiative is being rolled out in Durham, where police hope the move will help to combat binge-drinking culture by stopping partygoers from drinking heavily before going out – also known as 'pre-loading'.

Inspector Dave Clarke said: "We are committed to making sure people are safe when they are on a night out.

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"Sadly, time and time again we see the negative effects alcohol has on people, whether it be through violence against others, anti-social behaviour or not being aware of their surroundings.

"Not everyone will be breathalysed, it will be down to door staff to judge those individuals who might benefit from not drinking any more that night."

Nightclubs and bars in the city started testing punters' alcohol intakes this week, with the breathalyser machines determining whether people are too intoxicated to continue their night with a light system.

Although police have welcomed the decision, nightlife-lovers online have had a very different reaction.

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One person said: "Wow I just can’t get over how much of a nanny state we are turning into. What happened to personal responsibility? Sounds like a hell of a money grab for someone."

Another asked whether the equipment was hygienic, saying: "Who wants to blow into something hundreds of others might have at this moment in time?"

But those advocating of the scheme were eager to quash fears over the new system, which will continue to be rolled out this month.

Commissioner Joy Allen said: "This initiative is a welcome addition to our night-time economy and a step in the right direction for keeping our revellers safe.

"When used appropriately this scheme will ensure that whilst the public can enjoy an evening out, they also don’t exceed a safe limit of alcohol consumption leading them to put their own health, safety and that of the public in danger."

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