Poland considers prohibiting the sale of alcohol between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.

24.03.2016

A draft law introducing a prohibition on the sale of alcohol between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. was recently introduced to the Sejm (the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament). Considering the fact that MPs representing two biggest parties, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość and Platforma Obytwatelska, have prepared their own drafts on this subject, it is likely that this prohibition will soon become binding.

The authors of the proposed legislation explain that such changes are in particular necessary because premises selling alcohol which are open 24/7 have been established with practically no restrictions or possibilities for effective control. Pursuant to current regulations, local governments are able to regulate the sale of alcohol by determining the distance of shops selling alcohol from protected sites as schools, churches etc. or specifying the number of such premises permitted in the municipality. The amendment to the existing legislation will enable the council of a municipality to prohibit the sale of alcohol during the night hours in certain premises if residents complain about noise or other inconveniences. Councils will also be given powers to determine the hours when and places in which the sale of alcohol beverages for consumption off-site will be prohibited.

The introduction of such changes to existing legislation is based on statistics showing that Poland is among the shameful leaders in terms of the number of premises offering alcohol. It is estimated that there is one shop selling alcohol for 300 every citizens – this exceeds the WHO standards four times. What is more, the report drawn up by the OECD shows that the statistical Pole drinks up to 10.3 liters of pure alcohol per year.