Cheltenham is strengthening its stance on responsible drinking ahead of this year’s festival.

Last year two footballers and a pair of reality television stars were banned for life from all UK racecourses for their anti-social behaviour in a hospitality box during the Festival.

The Jockey Club, which owns Cheltenham racecourse, has been a supporter of the Racecourse Association’s industry-wide “pace yourself” initiative in partnership with Drink Aware since 2014.

This latest move involves limiting racegoers to a maximum of four drinks per trip to the bar.

“We wish for all to have an excellent experience with us and as part of this we are strengthening our policy towards responsible drinking,” said a spokesman for Cheltenham.

“In public bar areas a customer will be able to purchase a maximum of four drinks per transaction and free water stations will be provided at every bar.

“Trained service staff will continue to refuse to serve alcohol to anyone at their discretion, and entry will be refused to anyone intoxicated and alcohol prohibited from being brought into the enclosures.

“Complimentary hospitality bars will be closed at the last race, 30 minutes earlier than previously.

“No alcohol can be taken off-site and complimentary bottled water will also be available at the exits.”

The limit on drink buying will also be applied to other meetings, including the Grand National and the Epsom Derby.

Security crack down

Cheltenham Borough Council has updated its powers to make it easier for its officers to crack down on touts selling tickets on public land.

Council officers will be checking for authorisations for street trading and report those who are selling tickets unlawfully.

They will also seize tickets being sold illegally to hold as evidence.

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For the first time this year, permits are needed for anyone giving out free promotional material and council officers will be able to hand out on the spot fines for alcohol-related offences.

Inspector Roddy Gosden, of Gloucestershire Constabulary, added there will be increased police patrols, particularly at night.

“As in previous years police and council licensing officers will be visiting bars and clubs during the week to ensure venues are abiding by the rules,” he said.

“This time we’re going to have more of an emphasis on ensuring those who are drunk are not continually served and end up in either a vulnerable state or causing disorder.”