A Cambridge branch of McDonald’s will soon have security guards in front of their establishment. Their purpose? To give you a breathalyser test to check for alcohol in your system.
Any one who is over twice the legal drink drive limit will be refused entry. If you are deemed sober, you will then be allowed to enter the fast food establishment and allowed to order freely.
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McDonalds customers in Cambridge will be breathalysed before they are allowed in as part of a new scheme combating antisocial behaviour in the city.
Their branch in Rose Crescent has joined the scheme along with Cambridge United, who became the first football club in the country to adopt such a measure.
Customers will have to take the tests before security staff allow them to enter, and Cambridgeshire Constabulary believe it will help doormen identify potential troublemakers.
Stewards at Cambridge United’s match against Burton Albion today will also use the AlcoBlows kits on any one who looks intoxicated to measure if they are too drunk to enter the stadium.
Any one who is over twice the legal drink drive limit will be refused admission.
Police hope it will help stamp out drunken violence at matches and it could eventually be rolled out for Premier League matches too.
The scheme funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright provides breathalyser kits to security staff, allowing them to test people before entry.
They will not be used as a requirement for entry but rather a tool to support security staff ‘who often become the victims of drunk, aggressive behaviour’.
Sergeant Ian Wood said: ‘We accept that a responsible fan may consume a moderate amount of alcohol before a game, however, we are focusing on the overly-intoxicated people who are most likely to become problematic during or after the game.
He says the scheme is not mandatory for any venue and experience has shown that only those who have drunk excessively will be put off by seeing the devices.
Adding: ‘Responsible customers will always gravitate to venues which offer a more relaxing and non-confrontational atmosphere.’
Alcohol Strategic Lead at Cambridgeshire County Council Joseph Keegan said: ‘The council is very concerned about people putting their health at risk by drinking to excess at home before they leave for the city centre.
‘Each person who is turned away from a venue will be offered a drink scratch card which will give them information about their drinking risk levels and advice on cutting down on alcohol use.’
The scheme is an extension of a scheme operating in a number of towns and cities across the country.
Supporters’ groups say the measure is unnecessary because football arrests are at their lowest point ever and stewards already have the power to refuse entry to fans who they believe are too drunk.
Amanda Jacks from the Football Supporters’ Federation told the Telegraph: ‘This unnecessarily demonises football fans for what is, largely, a scheme aimed at pubgoers and clubbers.
‘For years stewards have had the discretion to ascertain ‘drunkenness’ and refuse entry to supporters. We’re not entirely sure what is achieved by introducing this new system.
‘Last season there were only eight arrests at Cambridge United home games, and a further eight at away games.
‘Of those 16 arrests, only three were for offences relating to alcohol. By the Home Office’s own stats, football arrests are at their lowest point ever, and we think that’s a definitely a story worth reporting.’
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