Following lengthy public discussions and parliamentary debates, the Seimas on Thursday significantly tightened regulation of alcohol sales, use and advertising, with some bans to take effect in early 2018 and others in early 2020.
Alcohol in Norfa shopping centre
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

After more than two hours of discussions, the parliament approved a package of restrictions in a vote of 101 to 10 with 10 abstentions.

The sale of light alcoholic drinks during free public events will not be restricted after the Seimas at the last minute reversed its earlier decision to confine alcohol sales at such events to special zones.

The new amendments to the Law on Alcohol Control must be signed by the president to become law. Ramūnas Karbauskis, chairman of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, said after meeting Dalia Grybauskaitė on Tuesday that he expected her to sign the package.

Starting next year, young people under the age of 20 will not be allowed to buy, possess or drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol selling hours in retail stores will be limited to between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Starting in 2020, it will be illegal to sell drinks with an alcohol content of over to 7.5 percent during free public events. Selling any alcoholic drinks at beaches will be forbidden.

A complete ban on alcohol advertising will be imposed in early 2018.

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