MPs end ‘happy hours’ tippling in Vaud bars

MPs end 'happy hours' tippling in Vaud bars
Photo: Justin Sullivan/AFP
“Happy Hours” are becoming a thing of the past at bars in the canton of Vaud after MPs from the cantonal government voted on Wednesday to ban “two-for-one specials” and other cut-price deals on alcoholic drinks in bars and nightclubs.

The politicians agreed to ban Happy Hours, known by their English name, not only because they incite customers to drink more during a limited period but they also encourage people to drink more than planned, 24heures newspaper reported online.

The decision was made as part of a revision of the law on inns and bars that aims to combat youth binge drinking and the disturbances to the public peace this leads to.

MPs also voted overwhelmingly for a legal change that allows private security guards to search people entering nightclubs, 24heures said.

Such searches proved to be helpful in reducing problems in the clubs but they were ruled illegal by Vaud’s top court, which said there was no legal basis to allow them.

Meanwhile, MPs rejected a bid by Socialist MP Philippe Randin to require restaurants in Vaud to serve pitchers of free water to customers.

Such a move would be an elementary gesture of conviviality, Randin argued.

Many tourists are shocked to have to pay for tap for water, as is the practice in some Swiss restaurants.

However, the proposal did not win enough support.

Opponent Pierre Volet, a Liberal party MP, called the proposed change a “scandal” that violated the freedom of commerce.

Geneva Socialist MP Romain de Sainte Marie in September said he planned to propose legislation to ban Geneva restaurants from charging for tap water.

The local restaurant and cafe owners’ association is opposed to such legislation.

A spokesman for the association said that the practice of seeking payment for tap water is not widespread but some restaurants are obliged to do so to make ends meet.

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