Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Compulsory breathalysing introduced at teenage disco

A teenage disco in Castleblayney has initiated a policy of breathalysing all patrons before admission to the venue.

The Junior Switch nightclub hosts events for 13 to 17-year-olds.  At last Friday’s disco, youths were breathalysed before entry was permitted and anyone who refused to be tested, or was found to have consumed alcohol, was refused admission.

A spokesperson for the nightclub said they have been forced to introduce the measure as some teenagers were arriving for the disco heavily intoxicated and added that breathalysing is now a condition of entry for young people at all future events.

“We have a duty of care to the young people who attend our events and we are taking a zero tolerance approach when it comes to the consumption of alcohol,” the spokesperson said.

“We sold tickets and made it clear that those attending the event would be breathalysed. We then issued refunds to those who no longer wanted to attend.  We lost about 40 per cent of our usual turnout, but we don’t care about the money. We want to ensure that the young people remain safe.

“Parents are thanking us because they don’t want their kids in a situation where other kids are drinking and there may be peer-pressure for them to do the same,” the spokesperson added.

Youths who were found to have consumed alcohol were looked after by paramedics from the Red Cross who then contacted their parents.

The spokesperson said that these young people have been told not to return to the venue for future events.