Miasto Stoleczne Warszawa

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No alcohol consumption ban along the embankment

published: 2018-03-28 11:55, mlan
No alcohol consumption ban along the embankment fot. No alcohol consumption ban along the embankment

In compliance with the currently-binding regulations, alcohol cannot be consumed in public spaces. However, there may be exceptions to this rule. Indeed, on 22 March Warsaw councillors decided to introduce an exception to the alcohol consumption ban along the entire Vistula embankment.

On 9 March 2018 an amendment was made to the Act on upbringing in sobriety and counteracting alcoholism, which introduced a complete ban on alcohol consumption in public spaces. Previously the ban had concerned only streets, squares and parks. However, in line with the new regulations, the commune is allowed to introduce exceptions to the complete ban.

– Willing to meet residents' expectations, we have decided to use that option by introducing an exception to the alcohol consumption ban along the left-hand Vistula embankment in Warsaw, said Michał Olszewski, Deputy Mayor of Warsaw.

The exception will concern the area spanning from the Vistula Flotilla boulevard (an entry to the bridge over the gate to the Czerniakowski Port), through B.Grzymały-Siedleckiego, Gen. G. S. Pattona and J. Karskiego, to the Z. Religi boulevard (to the end of the stairs next to the Żoliborz beach). The boundary will be determined by the cycling path or pavement located closest to the Vistula. The reference act will take effect after 14 days of its announcement in the Official Journal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship.

Why the Vistula
Areas along the Vistula are truly exceptional. Owing to the numerous investments made for the last 11 years, infrastructure has been developed, providing diversified prospects for leisure and entertainment. Today the embankment seems to offer the widest opportunities to spend leisure time by the river, thus attracting myriads of residents and tourists.

Based on the previous years' experience, it appears that many people still consume alcohol there despite the currently-binding ban. This matter had not been clear for years until a court decision was passed by the Regional Court in Warsaw in 2017, stipulating that under the then binding regulations drinking alcohol along the embankment was not an offence. Allowing alcohol consumption in that place has had no negative effect on the overall safety level. Moreover, based on the City Guards' analyses, each year there are fewer cases of improper behaviour requiring intervention. In 2017 the number of incidents recorded by the guards connected with public order disturbances or alcohol consumption, saw a four-fold drop as compared to 2015.    

The increased safety results not only from the changing leisure time spending habits, which are naturally forced by improved spatial standards, but also from the activities implemented by the City, such as marking the coffee bar club areas, increasing the frequency of boulevard cleaning or using a CCTV system. On top of all, the residents themselves are changing, starting to perceive the Vistula area as one that merits special care. This is surely an outcome of the educational and informational measures taken as part of the “Vistula District” campaign which promotes the co-creation of and joint responsibility for that area.