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Cup Day gets booze blinkers

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/11/2016

File photo of New Zealand Cup Day at Riccarton Park Racecourse on November 14, 2015 in Christchurch, New Zealand. © Martin Hunter/Getty Images File photo of New Zealand Cup Day at Riccarton Park Racecourse on November 14, 2015 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Betting on getting tanked at Christchurch's Cup Day? You'll struggle as the odds of filling up with enough booze are now drastically reduced.

The Canterbury Jockey Club, under threat of losing its liquor licence at its marque event, is bringing in 262 security staff - 43 per cent more than last year - and says anyone who has pre-loaded won't be allowed in.

The popular Cup and Show Week is underway. New Zealand Trotting Cup Day starts on Tuesday at Addington, culminating with the New Zealand Cup on Saturday at Riccarton.

Police weren't happy with last year's Cup Day performance, where they arrested 12 people and evicted 40.

According to a Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority decision, police blamed the club for supplying bulk alcohol to groups of patrons at the start of the day.

It led to around 130 breaches of the Alcohol Act, including supplying alcohol to drunk people, allowing people to become drunk, allowing drunkeness on premises and allowing disorderly conduct.

Police had wanted to suspend the club's liquor licence, but have agreed to similar measures imposed at Wellington's Westpac Stadium following booze-related trouble at the rugby sevens.

Club chairman Jeff McCall says there will be extra staff manning gates, searching vehicles and assessing people.

"Patrons will be denied entry if they are affected by alcohol. Pre-loaders will not be tolerated," he said.

BYO has been banned in the members' carpark and a temporary alcohol ban on the roads around the racecourse will continue.

Bars will still operate in the carpark and other licensed bar areas, but a 20-strong "drinkright taskforce" will be patrolling with the power to remove people who are too drunk.

Attendance will be capped at 18,000.

Police say they will have extra staff on to deal with the event and drivers can expect to be stopped.

"Drink in moderation and make smart decisions about how you're going to travel. Look after your friends as well - especially those who might have had too much to drink," said Senior Sergeant Kelly Larsen.

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