The TAR ruled the legitimacy of the ban on the sale of glass takeaway alcohol after 10 pm

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The Municipality of Rimini has acted correctly by introducing a stop to the sale of glass alcohol by the convenience stores after 10 pm. This is the conclusion reached by the Tar of Bologna, which rejected the appeal by some owners of retail stores of the food sector that asked for the suspension of the resolution approved in August 2013. Through that act, the City Council modified the regulation of the Rimini Urban Police, defining more stringent limits for the sale of takeaway alcoholic beverages, for the purpose to combat abuse: in detail, art. 34 ter of the municipal regulation provides, both for public businesses and for retail shops and vending machines, the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages of any size contained in glass bottles for takeaway starting from 10 pm. A motivated decision from the need to prevent excessive consumption of alcohol at night especially – but not only – by younger people, who often turn to the markets to have access to beer, wine and spirits at low prices, with the consequent risks for health, for public safety and urban decoration. A particularly relevant topic in the summer, when the minimarkets are open even after midnight, after which time, by regulation, alcoholic takeaway drinks cannot be sold regardless of the type of container. The Tar of the Bologna section – with judgment 435/2020 published on 29 June – de facto considered all the observations made by the legal defenders of the applicants to be unfounded, considering the Administration’s work legitimate, both in terms of competences and for the aims pursued.

In particular, the Judge observed that the resolution of the City Council did not interfere in any way with the liberalization of the opening hours of commercial activities (subject to State competence), but intervened only to limit the sale of a specific type of product in a precise time slot. The applicants also complained of a difference in treatment with respect to the administration exercises and therefore a violation of the principles of competition: this ground of appeal was also completely rejected by the Tar, as “the takeaway sale of alcoholic beverages in glass bottles is not comparable to the administration of the same on the spot by bars or kiosks, considering that in this second case consumption passes through the filter of the manager present during consumption and use directly on the spot of the drink, it excludes a priori the phenomenon of abandonment in road of glass bottles, always possible instead in the event of sale of the same for takeaway “. In the same way, the TAR considered the alleged incongruity of the measures adopted by the Administration with respect to the objective of containing urban decay to be baseless: “the contested Resolution – reads the sentence – is legitimate in the part in which, by prohibiting the sale of takeaway alcohol in glass bottles late in the evening, certainly concretely reduces behaviors suitable for determining a prejudice for urban decoration, thereby improving the livability conditions in the urban center and ensuring greater safety for the community “. The Court therefore rejected the appeal, ordering the appellant to recast the costs of the trial, equal to € 2 thousand.

“The Tar ruling unequivocally clears any doubts regarding the work of the organization – underlines the Rimini municipal administration -. In fact, the purpose is exclusively to prevent alcohol abuse with all the related consequences. It is no coincidence that the modification of the regulation is only one of the actions introduced by the Administration which has always considered it a priority to combat, with all the tools available, a phenomenon which is unfortunately widespread and which as is known has social impacts as well as on urban livability. We have accompanied ordinances and regulations with a continuous work of control and sanctioning, which will continue also this summer, today encouraged also by this pronouncement of the TAR which pushes us to keep the attention on the issue high “.

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