Binissalem. The town council in Binissalem is planning to deal with the problem of street drinking parties (botellón) by imposing huge fines which it wants to approve at a meeting tomorrow.

The new bylaw will mean fines ranging from 200 to 3'000 euros. If those breaking the law can't pay, they will be obliged to carry out community service with the municipal cleaning brigade as an alternative.

The move comes in response to street rowdiness and unbridled drinking sprees which have been spoiling the town's Vermar (grape harvest) festivals and patron saint (Sant Jaume) celebrations for the past two years.

Partido Popular Councillor José Fernandez said that unlike in other municipalities of the island, the problem of the botellón isn't a permanent difficulty in Binissalem. “Here street drinking and rowdiness are associated with public festival days,” he explained.
He said that it was understood that revellers might want to “make merry”, but what the council was not prepared to tolerate was the byproduct of street drinking which frequently erupted in the form of fights, vandalism to cars and street fixtures and fittings such as lampposts and benches.

Fernandez said that a campaign had long been underway to encourage people to enjoy themselves responsibly at fiesta times but that a “relaunch” would reinforce the message.

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