Caterers do not care about age and serve alcohol: They have fun and toast even though they are not 18 years old
Although the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors is prohibited, the impression is that few restaurateurs comply with the law. It goes so far as to not even ask for children's ID cards, although a fine of up to 4.000 euros is foreseen for the legal entity and up to 500 euros for the responsible person in the legal entity.
The age of young people who order alcohol in cafes can be estimated by eye, because they looked more mature and dressed like adults!? Alcohol consumption is most common on weekends in nightclubs and bars, where there are often large numbers of under-18s. However, although the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors is prohibited, the impression is that few restaurateurs comply with the law. It even goes as far as not even asking for children's ID cards, although a fine of up to 4.000 euros is foreseen for the legal entity and up to 500 euros for the responsible person in the legal entity! In addition to a fine, a decision is also issued for a temporary ban on performing an activity for a duration of 30 days, the State Market Inspectorate told "Sloboden Pechat".
On September 16, the Bitola police together with the IRS, DPI, the Labor Inspectorate and the Center for Social Affairs conducted an action control in catering facilities, and during the control of a handball court, it was established that the organizer of the concert had served three minors with alcoholic beverages. On Sunday, action control was carried out for the presence of minors in catering establishments after 24 hours, as well as for serving alcohol to minors in 280 catering establishments. The epilogue of the action is that six minors were found in catering establishments in Skopje and Bitola after midnight and were handed over to their parents after being detained. During the control, two crimes were discovered "pouring alcoholic beverages to minors" under Article 204 of the Criminal Code. But the problem is that during controls, the market inspector must be present at the time of sale of alcoholic beverages to a minor.
From June to the end of August this year, which coincides with the period of summer vacations, when schools and colleges are closed, the State Market Inspectorate carried out 659 inspections under the Law on Catering Activities, and 160 fines were issued in the amount of over 1,1 millions of denars, they reveal to us from the DPI.
- Part of these inspections were carried out in joint coordination with police officers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it was determined that alcohol was being served to minors in a catering establishment, for which appropriate legal actions were taken by us. Serving alcohol and alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 18 is contrary to the provisions of the Law on catering activities and high fines are foreseen - say the DPI.
Caterers have their side of the story.
– When arriving at the club, there is often a lot of pushing, so security cannot identify everyone individually. Gatekeepers often use their own judgment to determine whether they can let someone in or not. However, due to their physical appearance, make-up or dressing, the girls pass as older and thus enter a club where they should not appear. Further control of their behavior and what they drink is not possible - say restaurateurs interviewed by "Sloboden Pechat".
Macedonians drink 6,43 liters of alcohol per year
According to the World Health Organization, citizens of the Czech Republic consumed the most alcohol per capita in 2019, with individuals consuming around 14,26 liters of pure alcohol. Latvia and Moldova follow with 13,19 and 12,85, respectively. The full list includes 38 countries with net alcohol consumption above 10 liters per year. The average consumption of alcohol in Macedonia was 6,43 liters, but among men, the consumption is as much as 10,3 liters per head per year. Most of these countries are located in Europe. The United States had an annual per capita consumption of 9,97 liters of pure alcohol in 2019, but consumption varies by state. This puts the United States at 39th highest, well above the world average of 5,8 liters. The minimum drinking age in the United States is 21 and is strictly enforced in most locations. The top 10 countries with the lowest alcohol consumption in 2019 are Somalia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Syrian Arab Republic, Bhutan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Djibouti.