Sunday, June 18, 2017

'Dry' Talk

If you go around a lot of the more urbanized German cities over the past'd likely say that there are a lot of alcoholics or heavy-drinkers in the mix now.  For some Germans, it's a public nuisance now.  Some cities are going to harsh making the shopping district or heaviest traveled area of town....into 'dry-zones' (no alcohol).

I noticed that in the news today with Duisburg (a city to the far north of Germany).

The city made a decision and laid out the new law about a month ago.  You can walk into a pub, restaurant or cafe....and have a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a long as you stay within the premise.

If you went to some grocery and bought a six-pack and intended to drink on the street?  Cops would come up and issue you a 'warning'.  One might say that they are trying to nudge the public into less nuisance drinking....preferring not to arrest someone at this stage.

The rule?  It's not exactly a permanent rule.  It's made for a six-month test phase.

Did this nuisance-drinking occur in the 1970s or 1980s?  No.  I can't recall seeing this type issue until the very late 1990s.  At that point, it was mostly teenagers (15 to 18 years old) who were drinking to excessive stages.  The older guys who were homeless? That started to become a noticeable thing about 15 years ago. In fact, it went up a notch when the bottle deposit business occurred and these guys suddenly found that they could collect twenty bottles over a morning and buy a couple of beers off deposit-collection.

Will this 'dry-zone' business catch on?  No one is collecting data or counting up the number of dry-zones in existence in Germany at present.  My humble guess is that it's less than forty cities with some type of zone.  It doesn't exactly mean that people drank less.....just that they went to some outside of the dry-zone and consumed their alcohol there....out of public sight.  The rule simply helped to hide the drinking issue, not resolve it.

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