Belfast Telegraph

Alex Attwood launches 'booze bus' crackdown

By Claire McNeilly

Environment Minister Alex Attwood has vowed to clamp down on coach operators offering so-called party bus “packages” to customers.

Some operators allow young people to consume alcohol on the way to nightclubs and other venues — which is illegal and carries a maximum fine of £1,000.

Despite the growing problem, however, there have been very few convictions to date.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night after a meeting with 25 licensed bus operators, Mr Attwood said illegal drinking must be stopped.

“There is some evidence that there are nightclubs or coach operators or other organisations putting together a package — and by that I mean the bus, access to a venue and drink provided — and that’s a real concern.”

He added that bus operators need to be aware that it is an offence to consume alcohol on a public service vehicle, carrying a maximum fine of £1,000.

He also said he had instructed the DVA to conduct targeted operations against alleged coach operator offenders and promised to introduce new legislation to put an end to unacceptable and unsafe behaviour on buses.

Mr Attwood said he also wanted to ban disco lights on buses because they are distracting to drivers and pose a risk to passengers and other road users.

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