Amsterdam cracking down on noise, drunkenness in bars

Over the next few months, Amsterdam bar and pub owners are going to feel themselves under a lot more scrutiny from the city authorities.

Firstly, from November 1, bars in Amsterdam that are found to contain obviously intoxicated patrons will be forced to close for a weeck; for the first offence.

For the second, they face a month’s closure, while they authorities are pursuing a three strikes rule, with the third such contravention of the law resulting in the bar’s closure.

If that wasn’t enough, from January 1 next year, bars that are found to be playing music too loudly on stereo systems without a noise limiter may also face temporary closures for the first two offences. Again, a third offence means closure.

Licensing laws

The Licensing and Catering Act has been around since 1964, stating that it is forbidden for a hospitality location or terrace to allow a person in an obvious state of drunkenness or under the influence of psychotropic drugs to remain.

It has not been much enforced, but now there will be special drink and hospitality inspectors out checking to see that premises obey the law.

Up until now there hasn’t been a law concerning the regulation of loud music, but Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan is working to settle one now.

It will be debated until December, but a spokesperson for the mayor said that violating environmental laws concerning noise will indeed affect authorisations.

This new policy may be good for pubs that don’t cause a nuisance, as they may be less controlled, but for those that close late, do not have their papers in order or who offer significant inconvenience to their neighbourhood are in line for fines, temporary closure and even ultimately losing their licence.

Source: Parool

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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