Alcohol Law In Sweden
Sweden being a part of the vodka belt has always held a reputation for being a country with a high consumption of alcoholic beverages and binge drinking. Therefore, the alcohol law in Sweden is stricter in some areas than the other. This blog gives you some general information regarding the Swedish alcohol laws.
Where you can buy alcohol?
You can buy your drink from any local club, bar or restaurant. The alcohol is usually quite expensive in Sweden and during all these years government have refused to reduce their prices in line with other products. You may have to shell out around 52 Skr or £4.00 for a pint of guiness or a glass of wine. If you are living on a very stringy budget then you can consider going to a Swedish lager bar. At lager bar you will typically order a “Stor Stark” which has about 5% of alcohol. Or if you are lodging in a big city then you can hunt for some special promotion offers which allow you to buy about 0.5 liters of beer for approximately 25 Skr.
In Sweden, sale of alcoholic beverages stronger than 3.5% by volume are restricted by Government monopoly known as Systembolaget. Systembolaget are state operated alcohol shops which sell you spirits or wines. They largely vary in their operational sizes and offer the option of self service or order at counter. The systembolaget operates from Monday –Friday between 10.00am to 18.00pm. On Saturdays they mostly operate from 10.00am to 13.00pm. Most of the systembolagets will offer you excellent wine choices from across the world. You may need to shell out about 36 Skr for a bottle of wine.
Legal Age for Buying Alcohol
The alcohol laws in Sweden differ with other countries which mostly follows the legal drinking ages of 18 or 21 years. The legal drinking age in Sweden is 20 years. You may required to show your ID proof at the drink counter if the bar attender feels that you appear younger than your age. To avoid confusions all Swedes are requested to carry their Government ID cards.
In Sweden, a charge of drunken driving is handed out a driver if he or she is found with BAC level more than 0.02 mg/ml, while “aggravated”punishments like hefty fines or jail terms are reserved for those whose BAC surpasses the upper limit of 1.0 mg/ml. In addition to all these some jurisdictions have established separate penalties and punishment to describe things such as grossly elevated BAC or an accident caused by drink-driving which may result in personal injury or death. Imprisonment of about 2 years is meted out to the offender if he or she is found to be driving with 0.10 BAC. The result of toughest drink driving laws has helped in reduction of alcohol-related offences. The drink driving instances are blamed for fatal accidents in much of Europe and Sweden has registered lowest rate of traffic accidents (due to drink driving) than any other country in Europe. The alcohol laws in Sweden are rigid and first offense drivers may have to surrender their driving license for about a year if they are found to be guilty of first offense and harsher punishments are meted out as per the severity of offense. So, beware of your drink limits whilst in Sweden.
Image Courtesy: flicker.com