Alcohol is not an ordinary commodity and therefore it has to be regulated.
The moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is generally associated to positive values in terms of diet, pleasure and socialization. This positive perception with respect to drinking is countervailed by the unpleasant and damaging effects that the alcohol consumption can cause to public and individual health.
Moreover, alcohol is an issue that involves also economic interests. As is known, the production and the trade of alcoholic beverages are a significant component of the economy of each country as they provide occupation and tax return to governments.
The law making process at a national, European and international level has always been affected by two connotative features of the phenomenon at issue: the awareness of the inherently ambivalent feature of alcohol, as a mean of socialization that works under the shade of the threats represented by alcohol related harms and the need to counterweight a multiplicity of different and even conflicting interests.
The will to give a satisfying and interdisciplinary to the phenomenon of the consumption of alcoholic beverages has led our legislators to the development of regulations focused on the three orders of interests:
– Economic aspects: regulation of the alcohol production, marketing and commercialization, tax regulation, rules on premises and codes of self-regulation on advertising;
– Public order, road safety and job safety: prohibitions and/or restrictions regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages when driving or working;
– Social-and-health aspects for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation from alcohol related diseases.
This section offers an overview of the national regulations in force on alcohol, with particular regard to the following issues: