TALLINN - A poll commissioned by the Estonian Health Development Institute indicates that public drinking is a firm taboo in the eyes of many Estonians: 82 percent of respondents were against allowing alcohol consumption in public places, reports Postimees. Fourteen percent were for the public display, and 4 percent had no opinion.
The poll, conducted by Turu-uuringute AS from Aug. 25 to Sept. 4, showed that the aversion to public drinking increased with age. The ‘against’ opinion did not depend on whether the person had been in a situation where alcohol consumption of others directly disturbed them or not, said the Institute’s director, Maris Jesse.
Sixty-six percent of those polled said alcohol consumption in public places had not disturbed them personally over the past six months; 32 percent said it had bothered them and 2 percent were unable to say either way.
Although the advocates of the new Law Enforcement Act, that allows consuming alcohol in public places, say the new law provision’s main basis is that the one that is bothered goes and informs the ones bothering him or her, and they then try to reach an agreement to solve the situation, Jesse said that “over half of the Estonian people are not willing themselves to intervene in an alcohol-related disturbing situation.” The lowest readiness for this is among people over 50 years of age, and women.
“If more than 80 percent of the people do not support the consumption of alcohol in public places, then the answer is straightforward: the law must be changed,” believes Mayor of Parnu Toomas Kivimagi.
Several cities and towns have already implemented restrictions on alcohol consumption in certain places after complaints from residents.
On July 1, the Law Enforcement Act provision came into force that allows drinking alcohol in public places with the exception of on public transport and at public transport stops, schools and kindergartens. Local municipalities have the right to set further restrictions.