‘Please enjoy yourself, but drink responsibly’ – public told

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AN INITIATIVE has been launched to encourage responsible drinking at this year’s sevens tournaments and common-ridings.

A working group, led by Scottish Borders Council’s Safer Communities Team, and also includes the police, the Scottish Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, Addaction Borders, and Youth Borders, is aiming to build on the work that took place last year at various sporting and social events, and the focus for 2013

is the message that anyone who has had too much to drink will not be served by bar staff or sold alcohol by off-sales outlets.

Bar and sales staff will also be asked to enforce the mandatory Challenge-25 policy attached to all licences to limit under-age drinking.

Susan Walker, from the Scottish Borders Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, commented: “The message to the public is: please enjoy yourself, drink responsibly, don’t overdo it and if you’re lucky enough to look young, carry acceptable ID and expect to be asked to produce it. Acceptable forms of ID are photo card driving licence, passport or any other photo card ID bearing the ‘PASS’ logo.”

“Excessive drinking not only has an impact on the individual but also their families and community. There is no single solution to reducing alcohol-related harm and that is why we work with our partner agencies on a range of interventions. This includes the support of licensees to help reduce the impact of alcohol on our communities.”

Licensing staff will deliver training to bar staff catering for the rugby sevens tournaments prior to the events. They will be reminded that it is an offence to serve someone with alcohol if they are drunk, with fines of up to £1,000 for doing so. Bar staff will also be supplied with ‘refusal books’ to note how often they are obliged to refuse to serve customers due to drunkenness.

Councillor Donald Moffat, executive member for community safety, added: “We want people to enjoy the Borders’ annual events and have a good time but we would also like to encourage them to drink responsibly. Staff working in licensed premises will be reminded of the consequences of serving someone who is drunk which can make them more difficult to deal with and result in disorder, injury or other health issues including acute alcohol poisoning.

“Experience over the past few years of working with event organisers at the senior sevens circuit and the local common-ridings and festivals has demonstrated a level of professionalism and responsibility that is beyond reproach. The unanimous support for last year’s Responsible Drinking Campaign was very much appreciated.”