The House of Lords has attacked provisions for Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZs), which are provided for in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill, debated in the upper chamber shortly before the Peers left for the Easter break. ADZs would allow for a levy to be imposed on certain licensed establishments in areas where alcohol is linked to violent behaviour. Money collected would go to additional policing and associated public service provision. However, ADZs have been attacked on several fronts for the lack of detail so far included in proposals. Voicing concerns of the drinks industry, Lib Dem peer Lord Clement-Jones highlighted the proposal’s lack of clarity, questioning whether nightclubs would be exempt, while doubting that the ADZ levy should be extended to off-licenses. With a sly dig at local authorities, he said: “Will the levy pay for additional services only and, if so, what is envisaged? Otherwise, will this not turn out to be rather a nice little earner for local authorities? Will local authorities actually ever lift the ADZ designation once it is imposed, particularly if there is money attached to it?” Tory peer Baroness Anelay of St John’s questioned the slow progress of the Bill, and harangued the government about its inability to put the business community at ease. She said: “What progress have the Government made on their plans to consult those businesses that will be penalised by the introduction of the alcohol disorder zones?” She then added: “There are a few issues that we will need to examine carefully in Committee to make sure that the scheme works better. It seems odd that licensees who control their premises impeccably should have to pay for the cost of dealing with the disorder caused by others who may not even be licensees. We will want to examine whether it is possible to give the local authority a measure of discretion in how it imposes charges on local businesses.” In answering doubts by fellow peers, Baroness Scotland of Asthal assured that ADZ plans had been discussed with business as part of the government’s consultation document Drinking Responsibly: The Government's Proposals. She added: “The issues raised by noble Lords are valid and we want to be able to make an appropriate response. I hope that I have reassured the House that we do not see alcohol disorder zones as the first port of call, but very much as the last after the action plans and using the available licensing provisions.” Debate on the Violent Crime Reduction Bill resumes later this year.