Cambridge United fans face breathalyser tests

Breathalyser device Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Security staff at venues in Cambridge have been given breathalysers

Football fans face being breathalysed as part of a new scheme to crack down on alcohol-related crime.

The project, which will run indefinitely, was launched at Cambridge United's match against Burton Albion.

Anyone testing above twice the legal drink-drive limit will be ejected from the ground, but groundsman Ian Darler said fans had nothing to fear.

The scheme will also operate at Cambridge Junction and McDonald's in Rose Crescent.

Only fans who appear to be drunk are tested and passing a breath test is not necessary to enter the ground.

Mr Darler said: "Ninety-five per cent of fans will not even know the scheme is in operation".

Security staff at the venues have been given breathalyser kits allowing them to test people before entry.

Mr Darler said stewards had previously made a judgement on people they thought were drunk.

"This will give a fairer and more genuine result as to whether we eject someone," he said.

'Fairer result'

He added that only two arrests had been made at games this year.

The scheme is funded by Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright.

Last year, in Cambridge city, 141 people were arrested for being drunk and disorderly or drunk and incapable in a public place.

Sgt Ian Wood said there were a number of alcohol-related laws around sporting events, including an offence of trying to enter a sports ground while drunk.

He said: "My concern is fans will be unaware of these offences. I hope the introduction of the devices will help stewards make empowered decisions about who should enter the ground."

Anyone turned away from a venue will be offered a scratchcard giving information about their drinking risk levels.

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