26/03/2013

PSNI Issues Easter Message

The PSNI has issued a message to those planning to head out and celebrate over the Easter holidays.

The message came from police in C District, which includes Newtownards, North Down, Down and Castlereagh.

"At times overindulgence in alcohol has led to a trip to hospital to have an assault injury treated, or, in some other cases, a night in the cells for the perpetrators of assaults," the message says.

District Commander C Supt Nigel Grimshaw added: "We are asking people to think ahead and plan how to get home with just as much care as they put into planning where to go and what to wear.

"There is a clear message; don’t mess up your life with a moment of madness - a quick scuffle outside a pub might not seem much at the time, but end up in court and get a criminal record, and it won’t be worth it."

The PSNI is recommending groups of friends heading out for the night organise a lift home with a friend or family member, a non-drinking driver or a licensed taxi driver.

"People who have drunk too much can often get separated from their friends and become vulnerable when isolated and less aware of their surroundings," the message adds.
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"Take care of your friends - stay together and don’t let someone who is drunk walk home alone."

Police have also issued a reminder of the permitted opening hours of licensed premises over the Easter period:

On Thurs 28 March the hours are 11.30 – 23.00 (with half an hour drinking up time). Premises with an Article 44 licences or a late licence may remain open to serve alcohol until 00:00 only (with half an hour drinking up time), provided an entertainment licence is in force.

On Good Friday the hours are 17:00 - 23:00, with half-an-hour drinking-up time. No additional hours are allowed. Off-licences may open from 08:00 to 23:00.

Premises can open earlier than 17:00 for the sale of goods other than intoxicating liquor e.g. lunches and soft drinks.

On Saturday, the hours are 11.30 - 23:00, with half-an-hour drinking-up time. Premises with an Article 44 licence or a late licence can stay open to midnight, with half-an-hour drinking-up time provided an entertainment licence is in force.

The permitted hours for Easter Sunday are 12.30 to 22:00, with half-an-hour drinking-up time. No additional hours are allowed and off-licences are not permitted to open.

Normal licensing hours apply on Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday.

(IT)

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