Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 12:31 UK

Course offered to drink offenders

People who commit crimes while drunk are to be offered an alternative to a fine or prison.

A half-day course in Bristol aims to make people confront their behaviour and examine its effects.

Participants of the Alcohol Conditional Caution course will be helped to set a safe drinking plan with the aim of stopping them re-offending.

It is believed about 480 people a year from the Bristol area convicted of drug or drink offences could benefit.

Those attending the course, for which they must pay 50, will learn about the risks of misuse, undergo an assessment of their drinking patterns and learn about the links between unsafe drinking and offending.

In addition to being sent on the training scheme, the offenders can be told to pay compensation and write a letter of apology to any victims of their behaviour.

A Bristol City Council spokesman said it would give attendees a fresh start in dealing with their alcohol problems.




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