Prague 1 drafts ban on drinking alcohol in public spaces at night

The new ban targets the consumption of alcohol in public areas between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in Prague's city center.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 17.10.2021 13:45 (updated on 17.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

After gaining a reputation as a destination for "alcotourism" over the past decades, Prague is taking steps to change its image. As part of new efforts to increase the quality of life for its residents, Prague 1 has drafted a new decree that would ban the consumption of alcohol in public spaces during the night hours across the city center.

The decree would ban the consumption of alcohol in public spaces between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. throughout Prague 1.

After being approved by Prague 1 officials on Wednesday, the new decree has been sent to the City of Prague for final approval.

"Unfortunately, we are still struggling with the disturbances during the quiet of night, which are mainly caused by undisciplined people drinking in the streets," Mayor of Prague 1 Petr Hejma stated in a press release.

"In cooperation with the Police of the Czech Republic, Prague Police, and also with our means, we actively fight against such negative experiences."

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Consuming alcohol is already prohibited on some isolated streets in the city center, but the current regulation is confusing for visitors traveling through the area. The new decree would extend that ban to the entire district, making it easier for police to monitor and enforce.

Sign in Prague's city center. Photo: iStock / BalkansCat
Sign prohibiting alcohol in Prague's city center. Photo: iStock / BalkansCat

Only the consumption of alcohol in unattended public spaces would be targeted, meaning patrons at outdoor street-facing tables of pubs and restaurants would sill be able to drink freely.

"[The new decree] can help us a lot in this fight, just as it already helps in other European capitals. In pub establishments and front gardens, all decent residents and tourists can continue to consume beer or other liquids," adds Hejma.

"They certainly do not need to drink alcohol on the street and disturb their neighbors, and therefore the decree will not have a negative effect on them. We don't want a depopulated center where everyone can't have a decent time. But we want to shed the reputation of a city center where alcotourists from all over the world felt that they could do whatever they wanted."

The new decree is the latest in a number of steps that Prague has taken to improve its image and the quality of life for its residents. The city has also seen a ban on beer bikes upheld by Czech courts, and the popular Náplavka embankment area kicked off its summer 2021 season by ending alcohol sales at midnight.


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