Anti-addiction group calls for night-time sale ban on alcohol

Restricting the sale of alcohol products during night-time has had an impact, according to a new study by an anti-addiction group. Keystone / Peter Schneider

A leading Swiss anti-addiction group has relaunched a proposal to introduce a ban on selling alcohol late at night.

This content was published on February 7, 2023 minutes

Referring to a rules in two French-speaking regions of the country, the Swiss Foundation for Addiction said incidents of alcohol poisoning had decreased by up to 30% since the introduction of restrictions, notably in Geneva and Lausanne regions in 2005 and 2014.

In particular, fewer younger people had to be admitted to hospital for this reason, writes Addiction SwitzerlandExternal link in its annual report, which was published on Tuesday.

More expensive

The foundation also demands generally higher prices for alcohol and better protection for young people, also during the day.

A system with automatic presentation of an identity card is common practice in several European countries and would also be advisable in Switzerland according to the group. For online alcohol sales, a legal basis is needed to make direct scanning of the identity card the rule.

Back in  2007, the Federal Office of Public Health called for a ban on alcohol sales after 9pm in petrol stations, railway stations or take-away businesses. In 2014, the Swiss Senate also wanted to reduce alcohol sales between 10pm and 6am in shops, but the other chamber of parliament, the House of Representatives, opposed it. 

However, the pressure group argues that parliament is out of touch with the public opinion. It refers to recent polls as well as a decision by one of the country's leading retail chains, Migros, which decided to remain alcohol-free.

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