A police force in Cornwall is planning to revive a Victorian era law that will allow them to hand out stiffer penalties to drunks and the people that serve them.
Inspector John Turner, inspector for Liskeard and Looe, said he would press his officers to make applications to magistrates to consider declaring offenders who abuse drink to be declared as a "habitual drunkard" under the 1898 Inebriates Act.
My main motive for reviving the law is that fixed penalty notices aren't stiff enoughInspector John Turner
Turner said: "My main motive for reviving the law is that fixed penalty notices aren't stiff enough. Under the (Inebriates) Act habitual drunks causing trouble could be fined up £200."
Licensees could be fined up to £500 for knowingly serving a declared habitual drunkard.
MA Legal Editor Peter Coulson said: "The legislation was updated in the 2003 licensing act and could be used by any police force in the UK.
"It would require the magistrates to consider that the person was a habitual drunkard - three charges for enjoying yourself at three different parties would not be enough.
"It's for the habitual inebriate that causes problems in the same place over a long period of time.
"There's also an obligation on the police to distribute information about the person concerned, including, probably, a photograph."
The new measures are part of a local police drive to combat drunkenness and anti-social behaviour over the festive period.
Inspector Turner added: "I don't want to be a killjoy. On the contrary, I want to make our towns the sort of communities people want to visit and to enjoy themselves in sensibly, without fearing the minority of hard core drinkers who spoil public places for the rest of us."