Latvia - Alcohol availability for young people to be reduced
5 March 2013. Latvia may be a good example for the Baltic Sea Area to establish rules that will reduce alcohol availability and consumption rates among young people. The Latvian Parliamentary Judicial Commission has decided to submit to the Saeima (Parliament) amendments to the Latvian administrative rules to that purpose.
t should be added that Latvia is on the list of European countries that have the largest alcohol consumption rates among young people. Alcohol availability in the countries of this list is considered high. The situation has remained the same in the last five years.
The proposed changes will provide administrative responsibility for young people for purchasing alcoholic drinks. This minor offence will be punishable with either a verbal warning or a fine of up to 25 LVL – around 35 Euro – (fine amount will be larger for repeated violation). The fact that it is fairly hard to prove when an adult buys alcoholic drinks for young people as a mediator, the Internal Affairs Ministry plans to cross out the regulation that provided administrative responsibility for young people to ask adults to purchase alcoholic drinks for them, as the Saeima press-service reports.
Officials also plan to cross out the section of the law that provides responsibility for alcohol consumption within the premises of education facilities or work hotels. The law already provides responsibility for alcohol consumption in social places, as well as penalties for young people for alcohol consumption anywhere.
In order to combat illegal alcohol trade more effectively, the bill provides for responsibility for real estate owners if illegal activities involving alcohol are noted in their owned premises.
Amendments also provide for responsibility for persons of the age of 18 to 25 when buying alcoholic drinks if said persons do not provide personal identification documents at the moment of purchase. Authors of the bill note that this regulation has a preventive goal in mind – so that buyers would have personal identification documents on them at such times.