National ban sought for late-night booze shops

National ban sought for late-night booze shops
Photo: AFP/File
Politicians in Bern want to shut down takeaway and convenience shops across the country that sell booze late at night.

Concerned about the role of such shops in encouraging binge-drinking among young people, the senate, the upper house of parliament with representatives from the country’s 26 cantons, on Monday voted 24 to 20 to ban such outlets from operating from 10pm to 6am.

The ban would require a change to national laws governing alcohol, although the lower house, which must now consider the senate’s decision, is looking for a more flexible solution, the ATS news agency reported.

According to Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf the heart of the planned revision of alcohol regulations is squarely aimed at limiting its accessibility to young people.

The proposed changes would not impact regular retail stores or restaurants but shops that sell booze at discount prices.

Alcohol sold from these establishments is later consumed on city streets, posing law enforcement problems, lawmakers say.

Certain Swiss cities, such as Geneva, have already banned such late-night shops.

But Widmer-Schlumpf said a national solution was now needed, ATS said.  

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