Govt introduces ‘booze ASBOs’

By Liz Stephens

Antisocial drinkers can get a “booze ASBO” under new laws which come into force today.

New Drinking Banning Orders (DBO) can be imposed by magistrates and can contain “any condition they think is necessary” according to the Home Office, in a move which is bound to worry civil liberties campaigners.

The orders will last from between two months and two years and anyone who breaches a DBO will be liable for a fine of up to £2,500.

Home Office minister Alan Campbell said: “Tackling crime and disorder linked to alcohol is one of our top priorities and we have made real progress but with the cost to the UK totalling billions of pounds a year we know there is still more to be done.

“These orders will stop those people who are well known to the authorities, licencees and often the communities where they live, from ruining lives and will make them face up to their destructive behaviour.”

Don Shenker chief executive of Alcohol Concern said: “Used as part of a package of measures to reduce alcohol harms these initiatives can make a real difference to safety on our streets.”

Jeremy Beadles chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said: “We welcome steps to crackdown on those who commit crime or are involved in anti-social behaviour after misusing alcohol.

“Tough enforcement against offenders is critical if we are to change the culture around problem drinking.”

Those on the receiving end of a DBO may be forced to attend a ‘positive behaviour intervention course’.

However, according to the Home Office the government will not be paying for these courses and “participants” will be expected to pay a fee to attend the course of between £120 and £250.