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Alcohol ban at some downtown Amsterdam courtyards

Amsterdam, Aug. 8, 2009 [DutchAmsterdam.nl] — Starting next monday, a nighttime alcohol prohibition measure goes into effect for a number of courtyards in Amsterdam’s Nieuwmarkt district.

The measure, which will be evalutate after a one year trial period, comes in response to a sharp increase in nuisance complaints by residents.

Centrum borough says the complaints are about groups of youths, alcoholics and street people who create a nuisance with rowdy, drink-fueled behavior. Many also use the courtyards to relief themselves.

The alcohol ban covers the courtyards at Siebbeleshof, the Zuiderkerkhof, and the Pentagon as well as the wharf at Zwanenburgwal [Google Map] and will be in force between 8 pm and 8 am.

Based on one of Amsterdam’s by-laws, the order states it will be forbidden to use alcoholic drinks or to carry open containers containing alcohol within the designated areas.

In its decision the Centrum borough says it chose for the nighttime prohibition instead of a 24-hour ban to underline the fact that in a municipal setting the use of alcoholic drinks does not necessarily need to be prohibited.

“Alcohol bans should be the expection,” the statement says.

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Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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