Seoul pushes to stop alcohol in parks

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Seoul pushes to stop alcohol in parks

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said on Thursday they are pushing to prohibit drinking at 2,030 public parks in the capital city from next year.

The city government said it has requested the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs to revise the relevant laws verbally last month, and is currently preparing necessary documents.

“We decided to revise the laws to reduce crimes related to drinking, including violent crimes, and to promote a safer environment,” a spokesman for the Seoul Metropolitan Government said.

The city government is also considering imposing fines to violators. The specific amount hasn’t been decided yet, but the penalty is predicted to be about 50,000 ($44) to 70,000 won, which is similar to the smoking ban policy.

Currently, the law managing the city’s public parks only bans smoking, but there are no specific codes to regulate alcoholic beverages. The municipal government is considering designating particular spaces such as restaurants placed inside a park as a drinking zone.

“The land ministry had a positive response to the proposal,” the spokesman said. “After making necessary adjustments for parks, we are going to apply the revised laws to more public places such as amusement parks, where teenagers and children frequently visit. The city government will also carry out diverse temperance campaigns.”

“About 42 percent, or 34,223 out of 81,529, misdemeanor cases were disturbances related to drinking last year,” said Park Sung-ho, a Saenuri lawmaker and a member of the Seoul Metropolitan Council.

By Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr ]

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