Consumption of alcoholic beverages
consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Emirate of Dubai is a criminal offense which is punishable by law unless a user is licensed by the competent authorities. the UAE`s legislator has resorted to criminalizing the consumption of alcoholic beverages owing to its gravity on the safety of the community members. A person consuming alcohol may lose his consciousness which leads him to act unconsciously and this may lead him to commit crimes and this cause threatening the life of the others, especially, driving under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, the UAE`s legislator issued many legal articles concerning criminalize these acts and provided texts of several acts:
- The federal penal code No. 3 of 1987.
- Law No. 21 of 1995 concerning traffic law.
- Law on Alcoholic Beverage Control of 1972.
Firstly: article 313 bis of the federal penal code No. 3 of 1987 stipulates that:
- The prohibition of drinking alcohol does only apply to Muslims.
- Without prejudice to the cases where it is admitted to Non- Muslims, whoever drinks alcohol beverages shall be sentenced to detention for a minimum period of one month but not exceeding six months and/or to a fine not exceeding two thousand dirhams.
Secondly: Law No. 21 of 1995 concerning traffic law:
Due to the risk and threat caused by alcohol consumers to the safety of passers-by and the safety of other road users, the UAE legislator has resorted to criminalizing the act of driving under the influence of alcohol, article 10 paragraph 6 of this Law confirms: Abstain from driving the vehicle while under the effect of wine or an alcoholic or narcotic substance or the like. Article 49 paragraph 6 also confirmed: Shall be sentenced to imprisonment and/or to a minimum fine of Twenty- thousand Dirhams, whoever Drives or attempt to drive a vehicle on the road while under the effect of alcoholic drinks or anesthetic substances and the like. Article 58 of the same law stipulates that If it is established to the court that a person has been convicted of a crime relating to the driving of a motor vehicle, it may:
1- Suspend his driving license for a specific period and deprive him of the right to obtain a renewed license for a further period after the expiry date of the suspended license.
2- Deprive him of the right to obtain a driving license for a specific period if he does not hold a license in accordance with the Traffic Law. Suspension of a license or deprivation of the right to obtain one implies its invalidity during the period of suspension or deprivation as well as the illegality of obtaining another license during this period of suspension or deprivation from the license. Nonetheless, whoever is deprived of the right to obtain a driving license may submit before the same court that condemned him an application for abrogating such deprivation after the lapse of six months from the date of the condemnation. Moreover, article 59 in its paragraph 3 provides: Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other narcotic or the like, thus depriving him of his power of control over it.
Thirdly: Law on Alcoholic Beverage Control issued in 1972:
The alcoholic beverage Control Act was promulgated in the Emirate of Dubai to regulate the issues pertaining to the acquisition, import and export of alcoholic beverages and regulate all aspects related to them and dissuasive penalties, article 3 of the same stipulates that:
1-Any person may not import, export, manufacture, acquire, drink, supply, sell or offer alcoholic drinks to persons except in the circumstances prescribed by this law and the conditions set forth therein.
Article 4 of the same law regulated the mechanism for importation, exportation, supply or provision of beverages in hotels and restaurants, and indicated that the licensing authority is entitled to grant a license to any person for a renewable year upon the request of the licensee, which would allow him to:
- Importing alcoholic beverages.
- Supplying others with alcoholic beverages from a particular store or warehouse.
- Serve alcoholic beverages at any particular hotel, club or restaurant.
- to get alcoholic beverages.
2- The licensing authority may grant to any person, upon his request the export license of alcoholic beverages in the emirate in the amount specified in the license.
The competent authorities shall have the absolute power to revoke this license at any time.
Article seven of this law promogulated that shall be punished whosever Commits, attempts, assists or instigates any person to carry out any banned act under the provisions of this law. or any act interferes with the terms of the license granted under its provisions, shall be sentenced to detention for a period not exceeding six months and/or to a fine not exceeding five thousand Riyal or by both penalties.
It is clear to us that the UAE`s legislator is interested in establishing the necessary rules and regulations to punish those who consume alcoholic beverages in circumstances other than authorized and attempting to deterrence phenomenon of consumption of alcoholic beverages and reduce their serious risk to the security of the Emirati community of citizens and residents.