Pub industry bodies have spoken of their relief after research revealed that only a third of councils in England and Wales are considering introducing Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZs).
Pubs placed in an ADZ face a red and yellow card warning system for excessive noise levels, crime or selling alcohol to minors. A second, red card, offence could see a premises' license revoked. Operators will also be forced to contribute to the cost of running the ADZ.
Licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe said that a "consistent range of powers" was needed across the country to deal with alcohol related disorder, but industry leaders have warned that the creation of an ADZ would dissuade reasonable drinkers from frequenting the area.
In a boost for the trade, a survey of 182 councils in England and Wales by the Local Government Association (LGA) last week revealed that 33% were definitely not going to adopt ADZs. A further third are undecided about the measures while 34% said they were "anticipating" using the legislation.
A spokesman for the Local Authorities Co-ordinaters of Regulatory Services, which advises councils on implementing legislation, was even clearer on the issue and insisted that "no councils are going down this road", including Liverpool, contrary to some media reports.
"There's a whole set of problems with ADZs and a lot of holes in them," the spokesman said. "No councils are going down this road. It is for licensed properties only and we have issues with the exemptions such as convenience stores."
Nick Bish, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers
By Christopher Walton
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