Cambridge United are launching a pilot scheme today at their home game against Burton Albion… Breathalysing fans.
In an effort to cut down on drunken behaviour, police are starting to test fans as they enter the ground, and can stop them from entering if they fail.
Anybody who appears to be drunk will be blowing in to the device, and if they are more than double the legal driving limit, they will be refused entry to the ground.
If the system works well, it could be introduced to more clubs, including the premier league.
Sergeant Ian Wood of Cambridgeshire Police has said that there are laws around alcohol and sporting events, including entering a sports ground while drunk.
My concern is that fans will be unaware of these offences and I hope that the introduction of the devices will help stewards make empowered decisions about who should enter the ground and educate fans about the ramifications of being drunk at sporting events.
We accept that a responsible fan may consume a moderate amount of alcohol before a game, however, we are focusing on the overly-intoxicated people who are most likely to become problematic during or after the game.
The breathalysers will detect anything above twice the legal drink-drive limit.
Supporters groups have opposed the plans, saying it’s unnecessary.
Personally, I agree. I don’t go to the game after a drink, but a lot of my mates do, and would definitely be double the driving limit… But they have never caused any trouble whatsoever, and it would be very harsh not to let them in. These kind of things should be dealt with at face value – If somebody is causing trouble, then kick them out. Don’t stop people from entering the ground when they haven’t actually done anything wrong.
What do you reckon?