Drunken revellers trying to get into Huddersfield’s most popular nightspots will have to blow into breathalysers.
Door staff at Tokyo’s, Mavericks, Kewz, Camel Club and 5 Bar will next week start using the £336 hand-held breathalysers where there are concerns about the amount of alcohol the person has already consumed.
The pilot scheme is designed to coincide with Freshers’ Week when hundreds of young people starting at the University of Huddersfield are expected to descend on the town centre’s pubs and clubs.
The breathalysers will show a positive reading if the person blows 70mg or over, (the legal limit for driving is 35mg).
And revellers will only have to wait five seconds to discover the result.
Sgt Andrew Lockwood, of Kirklees District Partnerships said: “This pilot scheme is not about spoiling people’s fun but is designed to ensure that those enjoying the nightlife that Huddersfield has to offer are doing so safely.
“Each of the venues involved in the scheme are being encouraged to use the breathalysers at their discretion.
“It is not about having a blanket policy of breathalysing every person entering the bar or club, but it can be used where there are legitimate concerns that an individual or group are heavily intoxicated and posing a potential risk to themselves and others.
“Similarly to other towns and cities across the country we do have issues with people ‘pre-loading’ by drinking large amounts of cheaper alcohol at home prior to coming in to the town centre.”
Hugh Pryce, co-owner and licensee of Kewz, Queen Street, said: “I think it’s a good idea. We have no more trouble than anyone else.
“The idea is to keep everyone safe and maintain a happy environment. We have a pretty good idea about the state of guests before they come in.”
Sean Miller, general manager at Tokyo’s, Queen Street, added: “We are keen to be involved in anything that makes the town safe.
“As a high-profile venue it is going to be up to us to make an example. We have over 1,000 people coming in on a busy night.”
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “I very much welcome anything that can help reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents and help to ensure people enjoying the nightlife Huddersfield has to offer have a great time.
“The breathalysers have been purchased using funding from the Alcohol Awareness Course which was run in the district as an alternative to prosecution for the offence of being drunk and disorderly in a public place.
“A sixth breathalyser will be retained by the police for use in checking bottles of ‘soft drinks’ for any alcohol content in designated areas and in the possession of under 18s.”