An example to be followed in the fight against illegal alcohol


ETCO has been discussing measures to combat illegal alcohol for some time. The complexity of the subject, which includes adulterated, smuggled and even homemade products, requires joint action by several government agencies to try to eliminate the problem.

Simple initiatives, however, can serve as a model for Brazil to combat adulterated alcoholic beverages. This is the case of the street carnival in the capital of Rio de Janeiro.

The city of Rio de Janeiro periodically promotes competition for the sale of alcoholic beverages during festive days. The winning company is responsible not only for providing official drinks to street vendors, but also for training them to work in compliance with current regulations. As a result, there are direct benefits, such as the control of the sale of beverages to minors and more hygiene in the handling of products, and also indirect, mainly, due to the standardization of the sale price of alcohol, which is fixed. Thus, there is a general disincentive to the commercialization of illegal alcohol.

The simple prohibition on the sale of beverages, as occurs in similar events in other cities in the country, does not prevent its consumption. What happens is that, without any regular source of supply, many people end up migrating to the consumption of illegal drinks, which stimulates an extensive criminal chain. The commercialization model adopted, in this case, is an effective measure that avoids countless consequences to the public health of consumers, tax evasion and prejudice to free competition.