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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 22.09.2020, 05:09

Tallinn moving towards standing ban on nighttime alcohol sales

BC, Tallinn, 16.09.2020.Print version
The council of Tallinn is expected to endorse already this week restrictions on the sale of alcohol on the premises of recreational establishments during the night, the imposition of which was adjourned in spring due to the coronavirus crisis, according Postimees information reported LETA/BNS.

"Although the situation is alarming also now, this is nevertheless a good time to set out the legislative framework and give recreational establishments a clear knowledge of what the situation will be like when the crisis is over," chairman of the council Tiit Terik told Postimees. 


He pointed out that banning the sale of alcohol during the night has been a burning issue since the beginning of the 2000s, and the city has been making relevant plans not based on the whim of some individual politician, but based on police statistics and recommendations by the police, and also people's expectations. 


"The availability of alcohol during the night is not a human right, in fact this field should be regulated nationwide instead. In Tallinn we would have not a blanket prohibition, but a restriction for a few hours during the night," the Center Party politician said.


The chairman of the opposition Reform Party group in the council, Kristen Michal, meanwhile said that proponents intended to more forward with the ill-advised plan put on hold in spring just as if nothing had happened in the meantime.


Michal said he intends to make a proposal in the council to introduce a post of night mayor in Tallinn just like has been done by several cities all over the world. The post, according to Michal, could be occupied by someone from the field of entertainment or a respected former police chief well informed about the problem. 


"The night mayor would deal with the matter of ensuring safety on the streets during the night and ways to ensure the peace of residents during the night in such way that nightclubs would not have to shut down. The draft measure lists individual bars which create problems in their neighborhoods. It is not necessary to punish everyone because of them. If necessary, these individual institutions can be closed for some time," Michal said.


According to Terik, addressing individual violators of the rules has produced no effect.


"For instance, the city litigated with ten companies situated in the so-called Bermuda triangle in the Old City and also won, but this didn't help as it is very easy to let a company that has lost in court go bankrupt and continue business in the same place with a new firm," the chairman of the city council said.


According to the draft regulation, the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises would be forbidden in the capital city from 2 to 6 a.m. on business days and from 3 to 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.


A similar restriction concerning casinos and nightclubs would take effect one hour later, respectively from 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.


As a novelty, the draft regulation provides the definition of a nightclub, as it was revealed during the imposition of restrictions related to the coronavirus that the word "nightclub" never appears in Estonian laws.


The restrictions are expected to step into force next fall.






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