Vice Squad
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Temporary Alcohol Bans

Recent days have brought two high-profile, but temporary, alcohol bans. Teetotaler Hugo Chavez issued a decree that went into effect last Friday; the edict severely limits (but does not eliminate) the legal sale of alcohol through Easter Sunday. Chavez justified his decree as being necessary to reduce deaths from drunk driving. Meanwhile, in Rome, a ban on sales of takeaway (to-go) alcohol for a little more than 24 hours was instituted prior to Wednesday's soccer match between the visiting English squad, Manchester United, and AS Roma. AS Roma won the match, 2-1, but the alcohol ban did not eliminate violent clashes in conjunction with the soccer: one Man U fan was stabbed in the neck, and many others were hospitalized following pre- and during-match clashes.

Even well-intentioned alcohol bans do not go over well with everyone. Two headlines concerning the temporary bans:

"Chavez Alcohol Ban Outrages Venezuelans", and
"Takeaway Alcohol Ban Angers the Locals."

Remember when Portuguese police tried to stem soccer-related violence by tolerating public marijuana smoking?

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