Bars may be forced to close earlier

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The rise in alcohol-related violence in Norway means that bars, also in Oslo, may be ordered to stop serving at 2am. Many now keep pouring much later than that.

Newspaper VG reported this week that Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is now convinced that a nationwide ban halting the sale of alcoholic drinks earlier than is now allowed in some local municipalities will contribute to less violence on the streets afterwards.

The left-center government coalition he leads thus has a green light to push through changes in legal opening hours that first were proposed two years ago. Local governments would need to go along.

“We want a proposed change in the law as quickly as possible,” Trygve Magnus Vedum of the Center Party, a member of the government coalition, told VG. “Restricting the sale of alcohol will make Oslo safer.” Police statistics show that 57 percent of assailants and 66 percent of the victims of violence were under the influence of alcohol or drugs during a survey conducted last spring.

City officials have been reluctant to force earlier closures, but other cities already have done so.

Views and News staff