Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't buy and drive

Of course you cannot drink and drive in Poland, but Polish senators believe that is not enough. Now they don't want you to buy and drive, that is, buy alcohol at petrol stations to be exact. I am no expert on this issue, but I have never seen anybody popping open a vodka or beer bottle at a petrol station and getting into the car. I have on other hand bought beer to drink it later on at home.

The justification for the new regulation is not very original: the senators in favour cite the high number of drunk drivers in Poland.

Their reasoning suffers from at least one loophole. Why only petrol stations? Why not all stores that have a road nearby. After all, people can drive there too. Did the lawmakers forget that all these drunks will have to drive further in search of booze, posing more risk, rather than to the nearest gas station? Or how many of them could have just walked to the station but will instead drive somewhere else?

It is no secret that liquor sales are a gold mine for petrol station owners. The latter have already announced that any losses from the ban would be added to fuel prices as companies seek to make up for lost earnings.

I don't know whether higher fuel costs and the mentioned risks offset the expected benefit of fewer drunk drivers. As I said, I am not an expert. But I know this: certainly this country has bigger problems at the moment than banning liquor sales at petrol stations, ffs.

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