Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 18:55 UK

'First' nationwide drink ban given to Bromsgrove woman

A 20-year-old woman is thought to be the first person to be banned from all licensed premises in England and Wales.

Laura Hall, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, cannot enter a pub, club, off-licence, or drink alcohol in a public place for two years.

West Mercia Police said it applied for a "Drinking Banning Order" (DBO) after she was repeatedly arrested for drunken behaviour.

The order, introduced last year, was issued by Kidderminster magistrates.

We chose to use this new legislation as a way of helping address Laura's offending behaviour
Sgt David Roberts, West Mercia Police

Sgt David Roberts, from West Mercia Police, said: "While there have been some Drinking Banning Orders issued already since their introduction last year, this is the first to be issued on a nationwide basis.

"It effectively bans Laura Hall from drinking or buying alcohol in any licensed premises across the whole of England and Wales.

A spokesman for the Home Office said until the court data was processed, it could not confirm whether Ms Hall was the first in the country to be given a nationwide ban.

A police spokesman said the alcohol-related public order offences committed by Ms Hall were in and around the Bromsgrove area.

She had already been excluded from local licensed premises through the PubWatch and Bromsgrove Against Night-time Disorder (BAND) schemes.

Breaching the conditions of the order could incur a fine, unlike anti-social behaviour orders where a breach may result in imprisonment, police said.

Unsealed container

"We chose to use this new legislation as a way of helping address Laura's offending behaviour, and we very much hope that rather than seeing it as a punishment she will use it as an opportunity to get her life back on track," Sgt Roberts said.

"We also hope that licensees throughout Bromsgrove, Redditch and into Birmingham will be reassured by the positive action we have taken."

Ms Hall is also banned from having alcohol in any unsealed container or consuming alcohol in any public place.

She must also attend a course to tackle her alcohol-misuse issues, police said.

However, the order could be lifted after a year providing she has completed the course and has not breached any conditions of the order.

An order would not be approved for people with mental health issues or, for those who are drug or alcohol dependent, the police spokesman added.

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