Racing fans "limited" to 24 beers a day

MELBOURNE Tue Oct 6, 2009 4:42pm EDT

A customer carries beer cans from the cool room at a liquor store in Melbourne November 6, 2008. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

A customer carries beer cans from the cool room at a liquor store in Melbourne November 6, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Mick Tsikas

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Adult fans at one of Australia's most popular motor sport races, the Bathurst 1000, will be limited to one "slab" of beer a day -- or 24 375 ml cans -- as police focus on reducing alcohol-related crime.

The 24-can rule would also be placed on mixed drinks for the V8 car race starting Thursday which draws thousands to the rural town of Bathurst in eastern New South Wales state, the NSW police said Tuesday.

But more restrained spectators would be able to slake their thirst, if not their craving for alcohol, with up to 36 cans of low or mid-strength beer.

Wine lovers must make do with no more than four liters of cask wine per day and combinations of the options would not be allowed, the police statement said.

"This is one of the greatest motorsport events in Australia and for some it is a pilgrimage that they make every year," Assistant Commissioner Alan Clarke said.

"Police respect people's rights to enjoy the race weekend, but will promptly act when the law is broken.

"Every year thousands of race fans attend and enjoy the event and Police will not allow their safety to be compromised by a drunken few.

"As such we will once again be focusing on alcohol related behavior," he said.

Police were also urging people traveling to Bathurst to drive safely and closely monitor their speed and fatigue.

The race runs from Thursday to Sunday.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Ossian Shine)

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