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Blimps will spread CADA message at Cup Match

Campaigners urging people to drink responsibly over Cup Match hope to fulfil a lofty ambition this year — to spread their message from the sky.

Four seven-foot blimps are due to take to the skies warning revellers against getting too drunk or allowing children to have alcohol.

The airships will float over Somerset Cricket Club courtesy of CADA, a charity that encourages responsible alcohol behaviour.

“Generally, people consume more alcohol over Cup Match. We drink to have a good time but please drink responsibly and don't drink and drive,” Anthony Santucci, the CADA chairman, said.

“Keep an eye on young people to ensure they are not participating in the consumption of alcohol — children under 14 who drink are four times more likely to become addicted.

“Keep alcohol out of the hands of children.”

Mr Santucci added that those looking for “exciting alternatives” to alcoholic drinks for Cup Match could find recipes on CADA's Facebook page.

“We have lots of mocktails like an amazing green tea smoothie, watermelon, strawberry and basil — lots of fun things,” he said.

“We have a very progressive Facebook page, there are lots of articles about how to have conversations with young people about alcohol and what to do when you catch your children drinking. Young people and alcohol don't mix.”

CADA's blimps are due to arrive on the Island soon. The group will also have a booth at the entrance to the grounds where volunteers will give away free water as well as advice.

CADA is urging those attending Cup Match not to drink and drive but use public transport or abstain if you take your own vehicle.

Their Let Us Drive initiative, which gives people a free ride home after a night out in town, will operate as usual to help partygoers get home.

The service has escorted more than 11,000 people over the past seven years.

“The principle message over Cup Match is ABCD — always bus, cab or have a designated driver. There are alternative ways to get home,” Mr Santucci said.

“Once you get back to town, if you continue the party, Let Us Drive will be available on Friday night.”

The free cab service runs from the LOM building on Reid Street from 3.15am on Saturday morning thanks to “generous sponsors Bacardi, Gosling's, Burrows Lightbourn and the City of Hamilton”.

Bermuda Police Service would not comment on policing for Cup Match or whether more officers would be patrolling to look for impaired drivers.

A spokesman said the Service would announce its plans for the holiday weekend soon.

Mr Santucci and CADA are active campaigners for tougher legislation to crack down on drink-drivers.

Last week, Bermuda Police Service's Inspector Robert Cardwell, who heads up the Roads Policing Unit, said the Service would soon be rolling out its new Road Safety Strategy.

This includes more officers on the roads to deter people from speeding and driving while impaired.

CADA would like to see this taken further and want the Government to introduce legislation that would allow police to set up sobriety checkpoints and have roadside breathalysers.

The proposed checkpoints would involve random stoppages, with every fifth or sixth driver being pulled over rather than any specific group being targeted.

“We're advocating for selective sobriety checkpoints and we anticipate that type of legislation,” Mr Santucci said.

Government said this week that the introduction of tougher laws was under discussion. “The Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport, in consultation with the Ministry of National Security, is considering the introduction of roadside sobriety testing.

“The subject of increased penalties will also be taken under consideration,” a spokesman said.

Shawn Crockwell, the Transport Minister, told the House of Assembly in March last year that he would be asking Cabinet to amend the law to permit roadside sobriety tests.

He also proposed lowering the drink-drive limit and installing speed cameras.

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Published July 18, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated July 18, 2014 at 12:03 am)

Blimps will spread CADA message at Cup Match

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