What U.S. Nightclubs Can Learn from Liverpool’s ‘Say No to Drunks’ Intervention Program

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(The Center for Public Health)

The Center for Public Health at John Moore University recently published a study on Liverpool’s ‘Say No to Drunks’ campaign, an intervention program to deter the sale of alcohol to intoxicated bar and nightclub patrons. The campaign, which incorporates public awareness, bar staff training, police enforcement, and the implementation of breathalysers, should be closely watched by city officials and nightlife establishment owners in the U.S. Such prevention measures may significantly reduce nightclub assaults and intoxicated driving.

Below is a brief overview of the CPH study and the ‘Say No to Drunks’ launch:

“A study conducted in Liverpool found that 84% of alcohol purchase attempts by pseudo-intoxicated actors in pubs, bars and nightclubs were successful (Hughes et al., 2014). Thus to address the sale of alcohol to drunks in the city’s nightlife, Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Police developed and implemented the Say No To Drunks pilot intervention. The intervention aimed to: increase awareness of legislation preventing sales of alcohol to drunks; support bar staff compliance with the law; provide a strong deterrence to selling alcohol to drunks; and promote responsible drinking amongst nightlife users.”

‘Say No to Drunks’ Intervention Measures

  • A social marketing campaign that provided posters, t-shirts and badges for staff in licensed premises clearly informing customers that it is illegal for them to serve alcohol to people who are drunk;
  • A new bar staff training session focusing on preventing sales of alcohol to drunks;
  • Increased police enforcement activity in the intervention area;
  • Wider public awareness raising through media engagement work; and,
  • The provision of breathalysers to door supervisors to support entry refusal to drunks and increase public awareness that nightlife patrons will not be permitted entry to premises if intoxicated.

Read the full CPH study here.

Bar and Nightclub Owner Responsibility

Nightclub patrons have a right to be safe and secure while on the premises of the establishment that they are visiting. By law, nightclub owners and managers have a duty to protect patrons from any foreseeable harm. Additionally, dram shop laws prohibit the sale of alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons.

Bar and nightclub owners are encouraged to implement intervention measures, such as those outlined above, to prevent the sale of alcohol to intoxicated patrons and help to reduce alcohol-related assaults, injuries and deaths.

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