Surabaya to introduce law on alcohol

INDONESIA - The city of Surabaya, East Java, will introduce a law on alcohol to reduce criminal offences triggered by strong alcoholic drinks, a member of the city council has said.

Alcohol is easily available in Surabaya and police have attributed most criminal offences in the country's second largest city to drinks with a heavy alcoholic content, chairman of the council's special committee for the bill, Blegur Prijanggono, said in Surabaya on Wednesday.

Blegur said he was prompted to propose the bill after seeing the negative effects of alcoholic drinks in the city, especially on the city's youngsters.

"After the proposal was discussed by the city legislative body with the city administration, a special committee was formed for a law on strong drinks with myself as chairman," Blegur said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Debate on the bill is almost complete and a decision on its approval is expected in March, he said.

Under the bill, alcoholic drinks may be sold only at three star hotels and higher, and in entertainment centers such as karaoke lounges and bars.

Strong sanctions will be imposed on shops selling strong alcohol, he said.