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Positive changes in Polish alcohol legislation

Polish local authorities are to be given powers to restrict availability of alcohol from 2018.

The Parliament of Poland is set to pass legislation allowing local authorities to ban the sale of alcohol between 10pm and 6am. The bill does not differentiate between vendors, and as such also includes petrol stations. The only exception made is ‘beer gardens’ especially popular in Poland in the spring and summer period.

Additionally, the new law will allow local authorities to determine the number of alcohol outlets (permissions to sale alcohol). This will limit the physical availability of alcohol - for instance around schools and places frequented by children. New licensing provisions for local authorities will also include alcoholic beverages below 4.5% (beers) which was not previously the case.

The law is also set to introduce a ban on alcohol consumption in public spaces, unless otherwise permitted by local authorities.

These changes were initiated by a group of concerned Members of Parliament, aiming to help local authorities deal with excessive alcohol consumption in hot spots such as summer resorts, beaches etc.

In favour were 246 Members of Parliament, with 161 against, and 20 abstentions.

Although the law was not a ministerial proposal it had support of the then-Health Minister- Konstanty Radziwiłł.

The law is expected to take effect early this year.

Photo credit, Joanna Kozak: