Crackdown on drunk punters

By Amy Shanks

Extra police staff will help keep a lid on trouble as punters descend on Hastings for the NZ Bloodstock Insurance Spring Classic Premier Raceday tomorrow.

The popular spring event attracts large crowds to the Hawke's Bay Racecourse and police warn they will not tolerate drunken racegoers.

Senior Sergeant Luke Shadbolt said a tough stance would ensure everybody enjoyed the day.

"We will have two different groups inside the venue where we will certainly be monitoring alcohol intake. We will also have a presence outside to make sure people don't drink and drive.

"Again bars and venues in Hastings and Havelock North will be strongly policed."

Mr Shadbolt said there had been some problems in the past, but police were working with Hawke's Bay Racing and local bar staff to combat issues such as intoxication and disorder.

"We are hoping everyone can just have a fun day out. Last year was an excellent event ...

it was very family-orientated, people were there to have a good time and we are mindful to recreate that."

Those looking to "load up" on alcohol before or after the event should think again, he said.

"Our big issue has been with people getting pre-loaded outside the venue and coming into town afterwards to cause trouble. We will be keeping a close eye on that."

As always Hawke's Bay Racing has measures in place to ensure a drama free day out.

Liquor licensing restrictions imposed by Hastings District Licensing Agency Hearings Committee on last year's raceday had been lifted, but people would still need identification when buying alcohol at any of the cash bars.

HB Racing general manager Jason Fleming said anyone who arrived too drunk wouldn't be allowed in, "no exceptions".

"We do not tolerate pre-loading or heavy drinking within the event. As much as ever we want this to be safe for everyone. There is no place for people who want to cause a nuisance."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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