Representatives of Prague 1 yesterday approved a draft decree which forbids the consumption of alcohol in public throughout the city center, iDnes is reporting.
Currently, the ban applies only to selected streets and parks. The new bill would mean that simply holding an open container can earn you a 10,000- CZK fine on the spot.
The new ordinance, which could come into effect as early next year, will bring two major changes. The first is that the prohibition would apply not only to the whole of Prague 1, but to some of its outer boroughs.
The second change is that being caught with an open bottle or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage, like a full cup of beer, is a punishable offense: up until now, police had to spot a drinker directly in the act before issuing a fine.
The regulation is targeted primarily at tourists.
The situation in the streets of Prague, according to councilors, has over the past few years changed dramatically with foreigners and general visitors to the capital drinking not in pubs but in public parks and squares, “at the expense of the citizens of Prague 1.”
The decree has a few exceptions: Alcohol can be enjoyed in gardens adjacent to restaurants and the ban will not apply to the immediate vicinity of stalls with refreshments or markets where the sale of alcoholic beverages is permitted.
The regulation does not apply to areas where cultural events are being hosted; it also does not apply during New Year’s Eve and New Year celebrations on December 31 and January 1.
The new decree must be approved by the city council; it is believed it will pass without major complications.