Drinking Control Area

On 3 May 2007 Southampton became a Drinking Control Area under a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO)

The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 enables the council to designate Drinking Control Areas in public places in Southampton. In these areas it is an offence to drink alcohol after being asked not to do so by an enforcement officer.

It is not a ban on drinking but a drinker's behaviour will be considered in any action by enforcement officers. If you are drinking alcohol sensibly in a park with a picnic, you will not be affected.

The DPPO will not stop the consumption of alcohol in any area licensed for the sale and supply of alcohol during normal licensing hours and for 30 minutes at the end of that time. But, if public areas are not included in the premises licence, the order will apply to it.

The Designated Public Places Order is enforced by:

  • Police officers
  • Police Community Support Officers (PCSO)

An enforcement officer has the power to ask you to stop drinking alcohol in a public place if in his/her opinion:

  • You are creating disorder or behaving in an anti-social manner when drinking or under the influence of alcohol
  • You are likely to behave in an anti-social or disorderly way when drinking or under the influence of alcohol

Depending on your answers the enforcement officer can take your drink away, if you hand it over and start behaving there will be no further action. If you refuse to hand over your alcohol you may be arrested and have to pay a maximum fine of up to £500. If you hand over any alcohol but continue to behave in an anti-social manner, you may be arrested and convicted of a public order offence.

The Designated Public Places Order DPPO has been extended to:  

  • give enforcement officers the power to target areas of the city where there is repeat and persistent nuisance, clearly linked to the public drinking of alcohol
  • cut down alcohol related disturbances in public
  • cut down drunkenness in public places
  • send a clear and consistent message that anti-social drinking is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the city's public places
  • help make the city a place where residents, workers and visitors feel safe
  • meet the worries of local communities

Help, information and advice

147 Shirley Road, Southampton, SO15 3FH
Telephone: 023 8063 0219

New Road Centre
2 The Carronades, New Road, Southampton, SO14 0AA
Telephone: 023 8071 71 71

City Centre No Limits
13 High Street, Southampton, SO14 2DF
Telephone: 023 8022 4224

Other organisations that might help