Tallinn's hard liqueur sale ban hits gas stations and small stores ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Scanpix/Postimees

The ban of alcohol in small stores and gas stations in Tallinn came into effect today as part of the capital's crusade against alcohol.

The law was passed last November, banning the sale of beverages with alcohol content higher than 22 percent in gas stations, shops smaller than 150 square meters and shops less than 50 meters from primary, secondary and vocational schools.

Many of the 187 stores effected by the ban have been forced to increase in size, while many have also closed as alcohol sales make up a large share of a small store's profits.

Naum Muhhin, the head of a small and medium size store association, said many stores will not survive the change and the owners are already sellers, cleaners and transport workers. He said large stores will move in offering cheaper prices, thus annulling any hoped drop in alcohol sales and consumption.

City official Aave Jürgen said small stores increase consumption as they are more accessible as people can just pop out and return with alcohol quickly instead of having to go to a shopping center.

Tallinn also attempted to ban all alcohol sales on Sundays, but that was overturned by a court although no final ruling has been made yet.

Editor: J.M. Laats