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Czech kiosk liquor ban after 19 die drinking bootleg spirits

on 14/09/12 at 11:17 am

Booze News

Clampdown on market stall sales of hard liquor after poisoning deaths from vodka and rum laced with methanol.

The Czech government on Wednesday banned hard liquor sales by street vendors after a 16th person died from drinking bootleg vodka and rum containing methanol, in the country’s worst case of alcohol-related deaths in decades.

The government has imposed the ban indefinitely on the market stalls and street kiosks that have licences to sell hard liquor. They are common in some Czech towns and often sell vodka, rum and whisky in tiny plastic cups, alongside sandwiches and other food.

Such a large number of alcohol-related deaths are rare in the central European state of 10.5 million people, although state and industry officials have estimated that illegal alcohol sales have been on the increase and account for 10-20% of the market.

Eight more deaths were reported on Wednesday. And at least 24 people remained in hospital, said Stepanka Zatloukalova, a police spokeswoman.