Mistake in Czech Anti-Smoking Law Could Make Underage Drinking Legal

A defect in the anti-smoking bill passed in February has Czech legislators scrambling for a last-minute fix

The passage of the anti-smoking law in the Czech Republic in February 2017, was applauded by many for its attempts to make pubs, restaurants, and other public spaces free of secondary smoke.

According to Czech news server, TÝDEN, a major defect in the act could now endanger those it set out to protect. 

The problem stems from the accidental omission of a provision making it an offense to “enable the unauthorized use of narcotic and psychotropic substances by a person under eighteen years of age.”

“It happened accidentally due to a concomitant legislative process,” Ondřej Krátoška from the press department of the Interior Ministry told the publication.

“The situation occurred in the preparation and discussion of the new legislation on civil offenses, which unfortunately was not possible to slot into the government bill due to time restraints,” added Ondřej Macura from the Ministry of Health.

The smoking ban is due to take effect on May 31.

Legislators say they are now trying to pass a last-minute correction that would return the amendment to the new anti-smoking bill as a punishable offense.

That amendment is currently awaiting approval by the Chamber of Deputies.

In addition, it must be approved by the Senate and signed by the president; if the provision is not approved and added to the new anti-smoking bill by June, it could actually take effect in July.

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