Hereford & Worcester

Bromsgrove alcohol ban woman Laura Hall's no drink vow

The first person to be banned from buying alcohol in pubs and off-licences in England and Wales has finally vowed to stop drinking.

Laura Hall, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, has 38 convictions for alcohol-related offences, mainly for being drunk and disorderly.

She was arrested for the second time in two weeks on Friday for being drunk and disorderly.

The unemployed 20-year-old said she really wanted to give up drinking now.

Miss Hall was given a drinking banning order (DBO) in April prohibiting her from drinking in public or buying alcohol from licenced premises for two years.

She was also banned from entering pubs, bars or off-licences.

She admitted to breaching the DBO and being drunk and disorderly on 16 May after being spotted by police sitting on a wall outside a Bromsgrove nightclub holding a can of beer.

She was fined £100 and required to pay £85 in legal fees and a £15 victim's surcharge.

'It was a binge'

Five days later she was drunk in public after consuming a bottle of wine, a 70cl (1.2pint) bottle of vodka and several cans of lager.

She told BBC News the alcohol ban was actually leading her to drink more.

She said: "The drinking ban's wrecking my life.

"Even if I had soft drinks I can't go clubbing or go to the pub with my friends.

"It means I have to go to people's houses and I probably end up drinking more alcohol there because it's cheaper than buying drinks out.

"I do want to stop, but obviously it's not going to happen overnight."

Her latest run-in with the law came last week. She told BBC Radio 5 live: "I'd been out at my friend's house just having a drink as you do on a Friday night.

"I say a few, it was a binge.

"We went to a 24-hour-garage and my friend bought the beers.

"After that it was a bit of a blur.

"There was some commotion involving an ambulance and I was being abusive."

Miss Hall, who was arrested for causing criminal damage and being drunk and disorderly, was given a six-month supervision order by Redditch magistrates on Monday.

Police said if she was arrested again they would seek an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) which would carry a prison sentence if breached.

Miss Hall, who lives at home with her 17-year-old twin sisters, said she was trying to cut down her drinking and said she was third on a waiting list for an alcohol abuse course to help her to quit.

She said she had also referred herself to Worcestershire Community Alcohol Team and had been given an appointment for next week.

"My friends' tell me to cut down, they do get sick of it when I cross the line. It's not up to them to stop me, I'm my own person I will take responsibility for that," she said.

She said she did not "go out with the intention of getting arrested" but alcohol made her abusive and she tended to lash out at the police as a rule.

She said drinking was her first spending priority out of her weekly unemployment benefits.

"I am really worried, I can't remember stuff the morning after the night before.

"A lot of people think I'm not bothered...but I know I want to change," she added.

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