Lithuanian politicians attempting to cancel a ban on sale of alcohol in petrol stationsApril 21, 2015
The trend of industry scale attempts to speed-cancel existing laws the very last minute before they come to effect continues in Lithuania. Curious fact – this happens only with alcohol control related provisions.
The provision banning sale of alcohol in petrol stations is due to come in effect from January 1st 2016. Yet social democrat party MPs Juras Požėla, Andrius Palionis, Eduardas Šablinskas registered new amendments to the Law trying to postpone this ban till 2019.
The vague discussion that has followed registration of the provision featured a radio show where director of the Lithuanian petrol stations association Vidas Šukys, defending the initiative, argued that petrol stations have more security elements than other alcohol sales outlets, which prevents alcohol being sold to minors.
Volunteers decided to check rationale behind this argument. In the photos and video provided demonstrates that in Lithuania petrol station is a usual point to buy alcohol for anyone who wants it. 14 out of 17 petrol stations sold alcohol to minors. No ID check, for establishing legal age. So much for the safety elements.
After huge media coverage of this experiment, one of the MPs (Juras Požėla) canceled his signature form the amendment registration.
WHO Global status report on alcohol and health 2014 proved information that from 2008 to 2012, there was an increase in the percentage of countries that reported banning the sale of all types of alcoholic beverages at petrol stations: for beer, 46 countries reported a ban (31.1%) in 2008 compared to 61 countries (36.8%) in 2012; for wine, 46 countries had banned sales (31.7%) in 2008 as opposed to 64 countries (38.6%) in 2012; and 50 countries had banned spirits sales (34.3%) in 2008 while 65 (39.2%) did so in 2012.
Lithuania already had been confronted with a very similar situation, when total alcohol advertising ban was canceled couple of days before it was supposed to take effect.
Vaida Liutkute and Nijole Gostautaite Midttun