“Pre-loading.” It’s another “fad” developed by the British, but let’s hope it doesn’t become popular in the United States. Apparently many in London’s nightclub set are loading up on alcohol, or pre-loading, before they hit the clubs and dance floors. Too much drinking too early in the evening has led to a substantially higher number of fights and other acts of violence both inside pubs and nightclubs as well as in their parking lots and on adjacent streets.

Club owners and London’s Metropolitan Police are responding with a creative experiment. They are requiring that patrons submit to breathalyzer exams before entering the nightclubs. If a club-goer is already over the legal blood alcohol content limit, he or she is turned away at the door. London Police have dubbed the experiment “Operation Equinox.”

The clubs piloting the program report that breath testing is reducing confrontations with door staff, and they’re seeing fewer fights. Would a similar program work in the U.S. to cut down on drunk driving or other alcohol-related offenses? Probably not. It’s hard to conceive that bars and clubs in U.S. cities would turn away otherwise peaceful patrons because of a breathalyzer reading. In the U.S., such a program would inevitably require a law. Many club and bar owners simply would not comply voluntarily.

While clubs obviously may exclude potential patrons who appear to be incoherent or potentially violent, for the most part in the United States, the responsibility for your drinking falls on you. If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, get help at once by contacting an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer. The penalty for a DUI conviction – even a first offense – can be severe in California, and the consequences can be far-reaching. Let’s hope that “pre-loading” never becomes popular in the United States and that you’ll never need the services of an Orange County DUI defense lawyer. But the help is here if you need it, and if you’re charged with the crime, do not wait to make the call.