Balearic Islands enact new laws to curb alcohol abuse

20th January, 2020 by Nicola Carruthers

Spain’s Balearic Islands have introduced new laws to reduce excessive alcohol consumption in Majorca and Ibiza, including a ban on advertising for happy hours and bar crawls.

Alcohol

The new law aims to crack down on excessive alcohol consumption in popular tourist areas across Spain’s Balearic Islands

The government of the Balearic Islands has passed the new law, which came into force on 17 January. Valid for five years, the regulation is said to be the first such rule to be adopted across Europe.

The rule covers certain tourist areas including S’Arenal and Magaluf in Majorca, and San Antonio’s West End in Ibiza.

The new measures aim to enforce “real change in the tourist model of these destinations, encouraging civility, adopting measures to protect the destination and avoiding problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption in certain places in the Balearic Islands”.

The rules have been created following “extensive dialogue” and aim to “put an end to circumstances that cause discomfort and affect the image of the destination”.

New rules

The measures include the banning of adverts aimed at encouraging the consumption of alcohol, as well as free bars and happy hour promotions.

The law also stipulates that bar or pub crawls must not be advertised, organised, or sold to consumers in the areas covered by the rule. Party boats are forbidden from being advertised and also must not pick up or return customers to these areas.

Shops that sell alcohol will have to close between 9.30pm and 8am CET.

The regulations have also banned “dangerous practises” such as jumping from balconies.

The new law also includes a sanctioning system, which focuses on grave and very serious offences. Severe offences are punishable by fines of between €6,001 to €60,000 (US$6,650 to US$66,500).

Very serious offences include the sale of alcoholic beverages outside of permitted hours and face a fine of between €60,001 to €600,000 (US$66,500 to US$665,200). Breaches may also result in the closure of the venue for a maximum period of three years, depending on the circumstances.

Any minor offences face fines of between €1,000 and €6,000 (US$1,100 and US$6,650).

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