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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 21.02.2024, 11:58

Tallinn to limit nighttime alcohol sales in bars, nightclubs from September 2021

BC, Tallinn, 18.09.2020.Print version
The council of Tallinn decided on Thursday to restrict the sale of alcohol at recreational establishments in the capital city late at night and in the early hours of the morning starting from Sept. 1, 2021, informs LETA/BNS.

In accordance with the approved measure, the sale of alcoholic beverages in bars, pubs and other similar establishments will be prohibited between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on business days and between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. on weekends. The prohibition takes effect one hour later for casinos and nightclubs, where the sale of alcohol will be prohibited from 3 to 6 a.m. on business days and from 4 to 7 a.m. on weekend days.

The restriction will not apply to the foyer bars of accommodation establishments and sales points situated in areas meant for passengers only at airports and passenger ports serving international traffic.

The restrictions do not apply also on the night of Jan. 1, Feb. 25 and June 24, or New Year's Day, the night after Independence Day, and Midsummer Night.

The chairman of the council, Tiit Terik, said that the topic of banning alcohol sales in bars and nightclubs late at night has been discussed in Tallinn for years.

"This is definitely not a random idea of politicians, that someone had an idea one morning and it was decided to start prohibiting things right away. Such plans are made based on police statistics and recommendations of the police, and the expectations of the people who live in the neighborhood of these establishments," Terik said.

He said that discussions have been taken place with various target groups, roundtables have been held, opinions have been asked from various organizations, business operators, and the councils of the city districts have expressed their opinions as well. 

"In Tallinn the discussion arose primarily from the fact that the patrons of bars, pubs and other similar establishments open until the morning disturb residents of nearby areas at night, quite often passers-by fall victim to drunken patrons' rowdy behavior. Just recently we had a tragic case in Lasnamae where a young man was murdered in the course of a quarrel," the Center Party politician said.

Terik said that an additional consideration was the need to not have drunken people on the streets in the morning, when parents take their children to kindergarten and pupils go to school.

"I do not believe that situations like this reflect our society's values, and still less an environment that we wish to live in," the chairman of the council said. 

The opposition meanwhile found that instead of a city-wide ban, Tallinn should opt for a case-by-case approach. "In my opinion, we should vigorously and swiftly address those who violate the rules, public order, or the silent hours," councilor Kristen Michal from the Reform Party said. 

He said that the explanatory remarks added to the draft list a limited number of companies as posing a problem, which number less than 10. "Restricting law-abiding establishments in an economic situation already undermined by the crisis, given that the city has not done its job, is in fact a political distraction. Second, Tallinn could establish the role of a nigh mayor in line with the practice of Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and other cities, in order for there to be continuous, not just pre-election cooperation and discussion on how residents of the city could have quality possibilities for spending their leisure time and silent hours would be ensured simultaneously for others," Michal said. 

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