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(Apr 26, 2010) On March 17, 2010, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed the Fighting of the Phenomena of Drunkenness (Temporary Provision and Amendment) Law, 5770-2010. According to explanatory notes for the government bill, the Law was designed to address the phenomenon of drunkenness, especially among teenagers. Drunkenness poses a severe danger to public safety in Israel, increases acts of violence and criminality, and results in serious and fatal car accidents.

The Law authorizes a policeman to seize or destroy an alcoholic beverage if he believes that a person drinks or intends to drink such a beverage in a public place or in a vehicle located in a public place and that drinking the beverage may result in disturbing the peace or harming public safety. In the case of a minor (defined as under 18 years of age), the policeman has the authority to seize or destroy an alcoholic beverage even without suspecting that drinking it may result in disturbing the peace or harming public safety, as long as the minor drinks it not in the presence or with the consent of a person responsible for him or not among his family members. This authority provided to the police, however, does not apply to places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises. The Law establishes a presumption that drinking an alcoholic beverage in a public place from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. may result in harming public peace and safety.

The Law further prohibits the purchase for or the provision to a minor of alcoholic beverages in a public place, except in the presence or with the consent of a person responsible for him or among his family members. The Law establishes a presumption that an owner or an employee of an establishment that sold or provided a minor with an alcoholic beverage knew the minor's age unless it was proved by a preponderance of evidence that the minor presented a fake ID indicating he was of the age of majority.

The Law's provisions regarding police authority to seize and destroy alcoholic beverages will expire three years from the date of publication. During this time, the Minister of Internal Security will report to the Knesset Committee on Internal and Environmental Protection and to the Committee on the Constitution and Law on the police use of authority under this Law and its impact on fighting drunkenness. (Fighting of the Phenomena of Drunkenness (Temporary Provision and Amendment) Law, 5770-2010, the Knesset website, http://www.knesset.gov.il/privatelaw/data/18/3/469_3_1.rtf, Government bill, http://www.knesset.gov.il/Laws/Data/BillGoverment/469/469.pdf, Knesset bill, http://www.knesset.gov.il/Laws/Data/BillKnesset/311/311.pdf (all last visited Apr. 23, 2020).)

Author: Ruth Levush More by this author
Topic: Workers safety and health More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Israel More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 04/26/2010