Prague is creepingly expanding the ban on drinking alcohol. People must hope the police “close their eyes”
Prague is going to tighten the power of the police to fine anyone who just opens a bottle of alcohol in forbidden places. In addition, the list of restricted zones is growing so much that the city is working on locating them using the application. In addition, the popular Prague embankment, which has not been renovated and opened new bars so long ago, should be added to the more than a thousand seats. The decree is intended to target mainly noisy or messy groups of drinkers, but it affects everyone.
Already this summer, Praguers or others may find that they appear with alcohol on some of the other stoves where its consumption is prohibited. However, as is the case now, we may have no idea. The decree, which has gradually tightened and added hundreds of places in the metropolis where alcohol is not allowed to drink since 2008, raises questions about the ability to enforce such a ban across the city.
The amendment to the decree was held by the councilors for the United Forces for Prague (coalition of the TOP 09 and STAN parties) and Prague Sobě, the coalition Pirates of China. And according to the pirate representative Jan Hora, there is a proposal that the majority of Pirates abstain from voting in the council as well. Although they found support in the coalition for a change in approach, which was supposed to make the decree more effective, the city district rejected the change in the comment procedure. The same principle remains, in which only the list of places where the ban is to apply has been extended.
“In this form, we are convinced that it will not work fundamentally well, because it is basically a blanket ban. Extending the bans usually leads to the problematic behavior being pushed to the nearest similar site or to the surrounding streets. And the city police really can’t be everywhere to stand over everyone and watch whether a particular person lands, drowns in public or has a beer and then goes home, “he told the daily Echo24 Hora. According to him, the pirates tried to change the number of forbidden zones on the basis of clear reasons why drinking should be banned in which localities.
According to him, a reduction in the number of banned localities would lead to less demands on the mostly capacity of the city police, which handles the situation. According to the Pirates, prevention could lead to better results in the case of long-term problematic work. According to the national anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil, it is the ability to enforce the rules that is important. “I am in favor of bargaining rather than imposing fines,” he told Echo24, adding that similar restrictions would lead to alcohol consumers being relocated. However, he said it was a problem in cities around the world, and efforts to curb alcohol could be legitimate on the part of urban areas.
If the amendment to the decree is approved, the consumption of alcoholic beverages will be limited on the embankments along the Dvořák, Rašín and Masaryk embankments, on the Ludvík Svoboda embankment and on the so-called Smíchov embankment. The ban should apply from midnight to 9:00. “We want the embankment to have a rest regime from midnight,” said councilor Jan Chabr (TOP 09) about the proposal. According to him, the city responds to the reservations and complaints, especially of the inhabitants of Podskalí, where there is a bustle until late hours caused mainly by private parties of visitors to the embankment.
It will not be legally possible to drink alcohol in public in selected squares, parks and some streets of Prague. So far, there are about 800 places in the metropolis, the new decree will expand the number of sites to about 1000 places. Consumption of alcoholic beverages will also not be allowed on playgrounds and near school and medical facilities. Alcohol consumption will also be prohibited within 100 meters of the metro station entrances and on public transport platforms. According to the deputy, it will also be punished when people stay in selected public spaces with an open bottle of alcoholic beverage. “Until now, the police officer had to see a man drinking alcohol,” he added.
According to Hora, the My Prague application, in which a new functionality is to be created in cooperation with the Institute of Planning and Development, should also help with the confusing situation, when there are hundreds of other forbidden places in Prague. It is still possible to see the list of forbidden places at web Prague. For legal reasons, the Decree cannot be further targeted, for example, on measuring the amount of alcohol. By opening a bottle of alcohol in the forbidden zone, people simply automatically break the hatch. “When you are in a zone where you are not allowed, you are dependent on the city police to close your eyes if they move there,” Hora added.
Whether the amendment enters into force will be decided by the City Council, which should discuss the proposal at its meeting at the end of May. The decree was last amended in 2013. “Tourists are returning to Prague and with them some problems with order, especially in the streets of the center. The main goal of the new decree is to protect existing residents as much as possible from noise and clutter around their homes, “added Petr Hlubuček (STAN), Deputy Mayor of Prague.