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Campaign launched to reduce drinking and remind residents of drinking laws

Partners at The Sefton Arms, where staff are supporting campaign

St Helens Council is supporting a regional awareness campaign this winter about the alcohol laws some people forget.

DrinkLessEnjoyMore reminds people that it is illegal to serve someone who is drunk and it is illegal to buy a drink for someone who is drunk.

The campaign is running in nine local authority areas across Merseyside, Cheshire and Chester in an effort to reduce people’s drinking levels before and whilst visiting town and city centres.

What does this mean for you? If you are drunk, you could be refused service at a bar or club, and if you buy a drink for someone who is drunk you personally could be fined £1,000.

Merseyside Police are actively enforcing these laws across the region and in St Helens, where bar staff have been engaged in the awareness campaign, and cautionary posters, beer mats and bar runners are being displayed.

The campaign launched on Monday 13 November, with key figures including Cllr Terry Shields, cabinet member for green, smart and sustainable borough, with responsibility for licensing; Cllr Gill Neal, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing; Cllr Lisa Preston, cabinet member for community safety; Sue Forster, interim director for public health; St Helens Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Joe Pearson and wife Sylvia; representatives of St Helens Local Policing team and local bar management who are supporting the campaign in their venues.

Councillor Shields said: “Our licensing team has done some great work with local bar owners and staff, gathering their support to increase safety and maintain an enjoyable experience for everyone in the local night time economy. It’s especially important at this time of year, when more people are meeting up to celebrate the festive period, that we try to reduce levels of drinking in the town centre, and equally reduce levels of pre-loading drinks before visits to the town centre.”

Councillor Neal added: “Many people have been surprised to learn that these laws are in place, enforced, and come with substantial penalties. They exist to keep us safe and healthy but for some of us, the motivation to socialise with friends can sometimes outweigh regard for our own safety and health. This campaign highlights just how much ‘one too many’ can negatively impact nights out and celebrations with friends and family.”

Monday also marked the beginning of Alcohol Awareness Week (13-19 November) across the country. Within the borough, local health services including Change, Grow, Live St Helens Integrated Recovery Service, Footsteps Family Support and Healthy Living Oral Health Team will be on hand at a number of events helping residents to get alcohol aware and know their safe drinking limits, as well as providing support to anyone who’s worried about their drinking or someone else’s.

· Wednesday 15 November – 12:30pm-3:30pm, Alcohol and Oral Health Awareness event, Smokefree Hub, Hardshaw Centre

· Thursday 16 November – 10:30am-11:30am, Alcohol Awareness event, Moss Bank Library

· Thursday 16 November – 2:30pm-3:30pm, Alcohol Awareness event, Newton-le-Willows Library

Reduce the chances of your night getting cut short. For more information visit www.drinklessenjoymore.co.uk

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