River Drinking Laws River Drinking Laws

Nothing says summer more than heading down the riverside and seeing in the sunset with a beer in your hand. The moment the mercury climbs, a string of bars open along the Wisła turning the front into an amorphous, happy blur of drunken din. But with the riverbank often representing an undulating wall of beats, shrieks and general pandemonium, it may come as a surprise to learn that cracking open a bevvy outside the jurisdiction of any of these bars is an illegal act punished with a fine of up to zł. 100 – at least, that was the case prior to April 20th.

After careful deliberation, city councilors have passed a motion lifting the ban along the promenade lining the left side of the Wisła, with the news augmented by the announcement that City Hall would be spending zł. 300,000 installing public breathalyzers to encourage responsible drinking. Yet while party people welcomed the landslide vote, residents have been left waiting to see if officials will go a step beyond and rescind the ban that currently applies to the river’s right side. Regarded as the city’s favorite ad hoc barbeque spot, councilors will meet on Thursday to decide if the sandy stretch flanking either side of Most Poniatowski will remain a booze-free zone.

(photos: Ed Wight)

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