Going for a drink tonight? Get breathalysed first

Cardiff University Students’ Union now starts to carry out breathalyser tests before they allow students into bars and clubs

Random breathalyser tests are being carried out on entry to night time events.
Random breathalyser tests are being carried out on entry to night time events.

Students at Cardiff University are being breathalyzed before allowing them into Students’ Union bars in a bid to stop binge-drinking.

The Students’ Union in association with Cardiff Police Licensing team has started randomly breathalyzing students on entry to night-time events, including Flux and YOLO.

If students are tested to be over the drink and drive limit they will be refused entry into the bars.

But some students are questioning the effectiveness of this test.

Lizzie Harrett, science editor of Gair Rhydd, says, “I think it’s naive to assume that people are going to nightclubs with the intention of not drinking. It could be that the nightclubs resent students drinking before arriving at the club because they will make less money as they will buy fewer drinks when there.”

“I think if students are denied entry to nightclubs they will have more house parties. If you want to solve the problem of binge drinking you need to get to the root of it, and educate and inform people about drinking more efficiently from a younger age,” she adds.

Students to be breathalysed on entry into Cardiff's Students' Union bars.
Students to be breathalysed on entry into Cardiff’s Students’ Union bars. © Ruochen Yao

Heavy drinking remains a major problem in Wales. According to the Public Health Wales Observatory,  40% of adults in Wales reported drinking over the guidelines at least one day in a week, including 24% who reported drinking more than twice the limit.

Harrett says, “I think binge drinking is a problem not just limited to students. When you go into town on a Saturday night you see people of all ages drinking too much and lying in gutters.” .

Measures have to be taken to tackle with those issues surrounding intoxication. Harrett says,  “Education is the best way to solve the problem. We need to completely change our culture and attitude to drinking.”