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ALL BARRED ONE

Warning to drinkers as huge change will ruin nights out for many

DRINKERS have been hit by a warning of a huge change that will potentially see nights out ruined for many.

A new plan which aims to keep revellers safe is being rolled out across Durham city centre this month.

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Drinkers have been hit by a warning of a huge change that could see nights out ruined

The change means door staff at bars and nightclubs will use breathalysers as a guide for knowing who to let inside.

While there's nothing wrong with having a couple of drinks and enjoying the night, bars and clubs want to prevent people who have boozed too much from entering.

The new change hopes to prevent "the culture of pre-loading" - more commonly known as pre-drinking.

Durham police say this will give partygoers "a better chance to make more informed decisions on a night out."

And there's no need to worry that you may not be able to drink as the checks only prevent those with "unsafe levels of intoxication" from entering.

The breathalysers operate on a lights system and the accepted level is based on people enjoying a sociable drink and will indicate if potentially unsafe levels of intoxication are reached.

It comes as students packed out bars and clubs across the country last night as happy groups celebrated the start of university.

Thousands of boozed-up revellers partied though the early hours in Birmingham, Leeds and Portsmouth as Freshers' Week continued.

While drinking is still allowed, Brits will need to be aware how much they consume at pre-drinks before heading out.

And Durham City Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Clarke was keen to stress that "not everyone will be breathalysed".

He said: “Sadly, time and 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.

“We want everyone to have a great night, but we also want to make sure they make it home safely, and without causing any disruption to residents.”

The initiative, which has been funded by the Safer Streets scheme and Durham Parish Council, has been implemented elsewhere in the country in recent years, resulting in a significant drop in violent crime.

It's not all bad news for drinkers though, boozers were handed a huge boost today as alcohol price hikes were scrapped by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in his Mini Budget this morning.

Mr Kwarteng said he had "listened to industry concerns" about future rises to alcohol duty - which would see the cost of a pint rocket.

And in response, he said planned hikes to duty rates for beer, for cider, for wine, and for spirits "will all be cancelled".