Police: Lifting of Public Drinking Ban Has Not Meant More Work (1)
The field chief of the North Prefecture's city center precinct, Lea Bärenson, said the public has had questions about the new Law Enforcement Act, under which public alcohol consumption is generally legal, but that the law has not meant more work for the police.
The new law has been in force since July 1.
Bärenson told ERR radio it was too early to draw objective conclusions. But, she said, "it hasn't changed anything much in our work. We have to give this law some time. It will be about half a year to get the first look at the effects of the entry into force."
The people seen on the street with an alcoholic beverage bottle in hand are largely the same ones as before July 1, she said.
"The people who sit in a park and drink low-strength alcohol did not pose a problem to us before and do not do so now, either. The problem on the streets is more the ones who drink strong alcohol or if they are in large noisy groups."
Strong alcohol can also be legally consumed in the open, according to the new law. Drinking of any alcohol in public remains illegal near schools, healthcare institutions and some other categories of buildings.