Christmas crackdown: South Yorkshire drunks face £80 fines

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What do you think? Are the festive fines a good idea?

South Yorkshire Police has announced it will issue fixed penalty notices to people acting in a disorderly way under the influence of alcohol.

Fixed penalty notices give officers the right to issue on the spot fines if necessary.

Police plan to use the notices as a way of highlighting the consequences of excessive drinking.

The reveller on the receiving end can either pay the fine, or attend two sessions to discuss the consequences of alcohol misuse. If the sessions are completed, the £80 fine will be waived.

Once an officer issues a fixed penalty notice they can ask the recipient to leave the area until the following day or, if appropriate, for a maximum of 48 hours under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.

Superintendent Shaun Morley of South Yorkshire Police said: “We want to promote a sensible drinking culture and create a safer place for people to socialise over the Christmas period.

“The fixed penalty notices help us to achieve this by allowing police to take quick action against those few individuals who want to behave in a disorderly way.

“A fixed penalty notice is a way for an officer to defuse a situation by not criminalising an individual for what can be seen as ‘silly’ drunken behaviour.

“Being under the influence of alcohol can make people more vulnerable - they can become a victim of crime, or in some cases break the law and become an offender. Fixed penalty notices can prevent them getting to this stage.

“The sessions are a valuable way for people to face the consequences of alcohol misuse. We hope people will learn from these sessions, and be more aware of their actions while they are socialising.”

The police action is being backed up by a media campaign called Start Thinking Reduce Your Drinking which focuses on messages including drink driving, safe socialising, anti-social drinking and domestic violence.

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What do you think? Are the festive fines a good idea? Email: letters@thestar.co.uk.