Carnaval councils to make spot checks for teen drinkers

Carnaval brabantCarnaval kicks off this weekend and local councils are on the look out for teenagers who break the law on drinking alcohol, website says on Friday.

Most local councils in parts of the Netherlands where Carnaval is celebrated plan to carry out spot checks to catch teenage drinkers, the website says.

Two-thirds of councils said they would be checking whether bars and events are selling alcohol to the under-18s. A further 27% said they are considering doing so.

Most will do this by spot checks but a handful, including Utrecht, Olst-Wijhe and Duiven, will use ‘mystery guest’ teenagers to see if bar staff are obeying the law.

The Dutch drinking age was raised to 18 last year.

Carnaval, traditionally a festivity for the Catholic south, is slowly spreading northward.

The roots of Carnaval stem from the Catholic period preceding Lent, the ‘feast’ before the ‘fast’. The festivities – complete with lavishly decorated floats, oompah-oompah music and lots of beer – continue until Tuesday night.

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