Estonia bans public drinking, just six months after legalising it

  • 2014-12-18
  • from wire reports and Will Mawhood, TALLINN

The Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) on Wednesday voted for amendments to the law enforcement act which will prohibit drinking alcohol in public, Public Broadcasting reports.

69 representatives voted in favour, one MP was against the law, and seven abstained.

This comes just six months after Parliament passed a law that permitted public drinking in the country. 

The act provides for a general prohibition of alcohol consumption in public places, including non-food substances that can cause intoxication like cleaning liquids or perfumery.

Alcoholic beverages can be consumed in a place where they are being sold for consumption on the spot, such as establishments providing catering and accommodation, performing arts institutions, etc. Alcoholic beverages can also be consumed at public events or in limited areas where the local government has allowed the retail of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the spot.

Local municipalities will have the right to identify places where alcohol consumption is allowed. But drinkers will not be permitted to consume alcohol in a way that disturbs others.

An absolute ban on the consumption of alcohol will stay in force in certain places, such as around childcare centres and playgrounds, health authorities, on public transport and at stops, and local authorities will not be able allow the consumption of alcohol in these areas.

Drinking in public is illegal in both Latvia and Lithuania.