Breathalyse pedestrians, says minister

Home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst wants to introduce breathalyser tests for pedestrians in popular night club areas to cut down on alcohol-related crime and violence.

The minister and justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin are working on amendments to local authority bylaws which would allow councils to bring in the tests for clubbers suspected of drinking too much in certain parts of town.
While it is illegal to be drunk in public, it is not always possible to see if someone has drunk too much, the minister, who has a drink driving conviction, told a tv show on Tuesday evening.
Drinking dens
Meanwhile, the hotel and catering industry has urged politicians to take stronger action against illegal drinking dens popular with teenagers particularly in rural areas.
The number of sheds, caravans and outhouses turned in to impromptu bars has risen from an estimated 2,500 in 2006 to 3,500 this year, says lobby group BEM which campaigns against unfair competition in the hospitality industry.
Only a handful of local councils take action against the drinking dens, a spokesman told the Telegraaf on Tuesday. ‘The rest of the 400 turn a blind eye to their existence. It is a complete scandal,’ the spokesman said.

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