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Bavarian late night beer, juice, only for drivers

The Local · 28 Aug 2012, 10:02

Published: 28 Aug 2012 10:02 GMT+02:00

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The southern state’s petrol stations have long been exempt from the shop closing rule, on the grounds that travellers should be able to get what they need to complete their trip. This has made them pretty much the only option for people needing to buy food or alcohol after hours.

But now the exemption has been tightened, after an administrative court told Bavaria it had to define what was allowed – how much was “needed” – and who was a traveller. Germany's other states aren't affected due to their more liberal store opening laws.

As a result, Bavarian petrol stations are now prohibited from selling to anyone who arrives at the store on foot or by bicycle according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. And even motorists can only buy "small amounts" of refreshments, the paper reported.

For beverages that have an alcohol content between nothing and up to eight percent,such as orange juice or beer, shops may sell up to two litres per person.

For beverages with between eight and 14 percent alcohol, such as wine, only one litre is permitted per person. And hard liquor is limited to 100 millilitres per person.

Günter Friedl, the owner of the Sprint gas station in Munich-Freiman, said it would be impossible to look at a customer and tell who arrived by car. But the state isn't buying that argument.

"At night, experience has shown that the customer demand is so low that the seller can determine by looking out of the window station, if a car is at the pump or at the service station. When in doubt, it is entirely reasonable to ask," Bavaria's Social Ministry is quoted in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

If a filling station fails to turn away cyclists and pedestrians, it risks being slapped with a €500 fine.

It is "a catastrophe" for business, said Friedl, who also serves as the chairman of the Association of Bavarian Petrol Stations. The law threatens the entire retail fuelling industry with extinction, he says, because petrol station operators rely on snack sales to stay in the black.

Story continues below…

"On gasoline, a leaseholder earns almost nothing, only an average of about 0.9 cents per litre,” he said.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:24 August 28, 2012 by Frythegoal
It is funny they talk about Bavaria beer sales, but the beer in the picture is from the Black Forest deep in the state of Baden Wuertemburg, almost on the Swiss border. By the way that is a really great beer.
20:52 August 28, 2012 by wood artist
Sounds like the real problem is the lack of a definition of "travelers." People do "travel" on foot and by bicycle, in addition to using cars, planes, trains, and other things too. So, if the intent was to serve "travelers" than anyone should qualify. If I lived only a block away, I could walk...saving time and gas...and still be "traveling." Instead, I need to hop in the car, and if I'm driving alone, how can I possibly justify alcohol, since it's illegal to drink and drive.

Somebody must have skipped school on the day they taught reality.

21:22 August 28, 2012 by rosenthalenglish
Having driven all the local motorists away from Germany to Austria to fill up with petrol due to the 20 cents a litre difference. seems they are now going to get a rush of people buying beer and other goodies after 2000hrs.Only one problem,the Austrian beer on sale is not as good as the Bavarian beer.But many will not worry about that.Also the queues are really big at the two local Austrian petrol stations.One of which is open 24hrs a day!
21:50 August 28, 2012 by Bavaria Mike
Another reason the rest of Germany laughs at the Bavarian Hillbillies! Some dipshit over paid Government worker came up with this stupid idea that somehow got passed into law. The Gov warns us not to make alcohol related mistakes but then makes a lot of money if we don't listen, they bank on that!!!
11:31 August 29, 2012 by Mohamed_hs90
How stupid is this !! I just cant believe how the government is no naiive to pass such a law.

What if I live nearby and I have a car, I will drive it to the station and buy whatever I want to buy, while my car-less neighbor wont be able to buy anything !!

And why would they stop people from buying stuff from stations, it is not a shopping mall after all and everything in the station is much much more expensive than other places, so people will buy things from there when it is an EMERGENCY !!
12:26 August 29, 2012 by Eastard
The need to service travelers is the reason for allowing the stores to stay open... Period... Whether or not travelers use it is ridiculously silly rule... Putting the clerk in the position to rule on a person's eligibility to purchase items at the counter (other than age requirements) is equally silly.... If there is such a demand that locals use the store... so what... let them... If the demand is there let the other stores do the same where they are located near housing... It makes very good sense to encourage locals to walk or bicycle versus drive...
14:56 August 29, 2012 by OkieinBerlin
As stupid as this law may be, it works -- its intent is to demonstatre bureaucratic power over the people -- like so many other stupid laws here and elsewhere.
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