A city in Shandong province is requiring police officers to declare they have not drunk any alcohol at noon when they sign in at 2.30pm, including days when they begin their shifts before noon.
The measure, implemented by the Public Security Bureau in Jining, took effect from Friday. Covering all police officers under the city's jurisdiction, it says each officer must write 'Today I did not drink at noon' next to their names, according to the newspaper Qilu Wanbao.
The idea is to make officers prove that they are sober enough to write a sentence.
They must also write 'I did not break the rules this week' every Friday before 4pm.
Deputy bureau chief Zhao Changhai said they were simply following the 'five rules' the Ministry of Public Security issued in 2003. The fourth rule forbids officers to drink while on duty and says anyone who causes 'serious consequences' under the influence will be fired.
Mr Zhao said officers must follow the rule strictly, and anyone found giving misleading information or lying would be punished.
The bureau's commission for discipline inspection denied the policy was adopted because police had a habit of drinking alcohol at work.
'We do not have a history of this so far. We adopted the policy to prevent such a thing happening,' a spokeswoman said.
Hunan Television commentator Yu Yanluo called the new policy ridiculous.
'This is a very funny system because police would cover it up if drinking alcohol affected their work,' he said. 'Only people who drink too much and have harmed their brains would report the truth.
'If police, the law enforcers, respected the law, there would not be a need for an extra system.'
He said putting alcohol-testing devices outside police stations would be more useful.