Confirmed: Prague’s ban on public drinking expanding to over 1,000 places

The City Assembly approved an amendment that also makes it easier for police to fine people for an open container.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 27.05.2022 09:30:00 (updated on 27.05.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague will extend the list of public places where alcohol drinking is prohibited from 837 to 1,036 areas, under a regulation that the City Assembly approved on Thursday. The new list will come into effect at the start of July. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, though, says the drinking ban is misguided and will not solve the problem.

The new rules were previously approved by the City Council, made up of 11 representatives of the ruling coalition. The 65-member City Assembly, which also includes opposition parties, also has to approve amendments before they can take effect.

The ban on public drinking will soon apply to banks and piers of the Vltava – including Náplavka, Smíchovská náplavka Dvořákovo nábřeží, Rašínovo nábřeží, Masarykovo nábřeží, nábřeží Ludvíka Svobody – from midnight to 9 am.

Alcohol consumption will not be allowed at any time at children's playgrounds or near educational and healthcare facilities. Drinking will be banned within a 100-meter perimeter from metro entrances and public transport stations.

Rules will also be stricter. Currently, police have to catch someone actually drinking, while as of July 1 it will be sufficient to be caught with an open container.

The regulation will not apply on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 to allow for New Year's Eve celebrations. Some other events, such as concerts, wine or beer festivals, and sports events will be exempt from the alcohol ban. It will also not apply to restaurants’ gardens or to food stands.

In many cases, there are no signs warning people that drinking is forbidden.

"We will create a map of all these places. It will be available in a mobile app, too." Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček said.

Do you agree with a ban on drinking alcohol in public spaces?

Yes, the new list is a good idea. 32 %
There should be some restrictions, but only at a few places. 11 %
No, the ban does not accomplish anything. 57 %
319 readers voted on this poll. Voting is closed

The list of places where people can’t drink alcohol in public was last amended in 2013. According to Hlubuček, the aim of the current amendment is to improve enforceability of the ban and update the list in reaction to urban development and requirements of particular Prague neighborhoods.

The regulation targets people who disturb others with noise and inappropriate behavior. The municipal police may impose fines on such individuals.

People living near Náplavka in particular have complained about noise and disturbances related to drunken behavior.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, before the vote at the City Assembly took place, said on Facebook that he opposed the stricter rules and that the Pirate Party would not vote in favor of them. “Prague is a free city where free people live. That's how it should stay,” he said.

The Pirate Party also did not support the amendment earlier this month at the City Council.

“I don't see a single reason why Praguers couldn't have a picnic after work in the park on a blanket with a bottle of wine if they don't bother anyone. The ban on open bottles of alcohol in parks in the form of a decree is an inappropriate ban,” he said.

He added that city districts have designated so many places that drinking is practically forbidden everywhere.

“The decree will not solve any problem. … The noise on the streets is usually made by people who have already drunk in a pub and are just moving to another place,” he said.

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