Alcohol Control Policy in Lithuania: Issues of Defining Purpose and Retail Licensing
Keywords: alcohol control policy, alcohol retail, licencing
AbstractThe purpose of this article is to identify interference that prevents to manage alcohol-related harm. Article analyses the purpose of alcohol control policy and it‘s connection with alcohol-related harm, and alcohol retail licensing. Article is based on scientific literature, law acts and statistical data. The main conclusion is that the definition of alcohol control policy purpose is not clear and the meaning of it is not connected with reduction of alcohol-related harm. It is necessary to revise and redefine the purpose by relating it with criminality prevention, safety in neighbourhoods and roads, reduction of social harm in private sphere. Now, the priority is given to the technical regulation of retail and production. Alcohol control policy obliges local authorities to pursue only the administrative function – retail licensing. Local governments also have powers to form the alcohol control policy, for example, limit the time and places of selling alcohol. This function is recommendatory, so only a few local governments use it. City councils are not obliged to pursue the alcohol control policy and it‘s monitoring. Regulation of retail licensing is related with technical requirements for the quality and safety of alcohol. It‘s also connected with requirements for selling surroundings and debts for budgets of national and local governments. Whether the license will be suspended or abolished depends on violation of technical requirements and conditions that are written in license. It is not connected with criminality, noise or other alcohol-related harm. Prohibition of selling liquor for under-age and intoxicated persons is connected with reduction of alcohol-related harm, but sanctions are only for selling alcohol to under-age persons. Licensing is not used enough to discipline the sellers. More powers must be given to police in order to make bigger influence on retail licensing process because now the police is allowed to control only the criminality and the violation of public order that is made by intoxicated persons. It also controls liquor selling to under-age persons but it has no powers in retail licensing.
Practice of Public Policy and Administration