RIGA - Saeima Social and Employment Matters Committee on Tuesday approved amendments to the Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law, which stipulate that alcoholic beverages may not be sold to persons under the age of 20.
At the moment, persons aged 18 and over can buy alcohol in Latvia.
MP Ingrida Circene (New Unity) proposed to align these legal provisions with those of the Law on the Handling of Tobacco Products, which stipulate that tobacco products may not be sold to persons under the age of 20. Alcoholic beverages may not be sold to persons under the age of 20 in Lithuania also, Circene pointed out.
The proposal was also supported by the Health Ministry.
On the other hand, Saeima member Ramona Petravica (Latvia First) argued that the age of majority should also be revised in this case. "You can get married at 18, but you cannot drink a glass of champagne at your wedding. One can also change gender from the age of 18," she said, adding that the amendments could do more harm than good.
Likewise, Peteris Linins from the Brewers' Association opposed the proposal, arguing that the current restrictions were sufficient and there was no reason to introduce new, stricter requirements.
In the meantime, several MPs have proposed further restrictions on hours of alcohol sales in Latvia.