Free tents let pubgoers drink and not drive


Pub garden

A Worcestershire pub is providing tents in its garden so that customers aren't tempted to drink and drive.

Lizzie Jennings, who runs the Drum & Monkey near Upton-upon-Severn, came up with the idea after a conversation with a tent manufacturer who's one of her regulars.

The tents can hold up to 19 people and are kitted out with airbeds, thermal sleeping bags and heaters; and campers are even treated to a free breakfast. The pub plans to keep the tents up until January.

"We had two people use it on Tuesday evening, and they said it was toasty and warm. There are heaters, but with the thermal sleeping bags they didn't need to turn them on," says Danielle Ward, who works at the pub. "And in the morning, they really enjoyed their bacon sandwiches and coffee."

The government kicked off its drink driving campaign on Wednesday, highlighting the effects a drink drive conviction can have on future job prospects.

A survey has shown that more than a quarter of people rely on a car to get to work. One third of people with a conviction lose their jobs - as well as losing access to millions of jobs which require criminal records checks.

"Just one drink can put you over the limit and the consequences are devastating," says transport minister Robert Goodwill. "Not only will you be cuffed and put in a cell, but if you're convicted you will lose your licence and, as this research shows, you could even lose your job."

Other efforts to help people avoid drink driving include northern bus operator First, which is offering Christmas revellers unlimited rides for £5 for two people until January 5. Journeys will be free on the Docklands Light Railway and London buses between 11.45pm and 4.30am on New Year's Day.