City deputies call for redefining 'bars' in bid to increase law enforcement efficiency

Chen Huizhi
Some deputies to the city's legislative body have proposed that "bars" should be redefined to increase the efficiency of law enforcement.
Chen Huizhi

People under 18 years of age shouldn’t be accepted into bars, according to the city’s current regulation on the protection of minors, but some lawmakers in the city proposed that such venues should be redefined to increase the efficiency of law enforcement.

The proposal was filed by 11 deputies, led by Chen Hong, chief of the cultural bureau of Jing’an District.

The current regulation, which has been in force since March 2014, requires that all bars should put clear signage outside stating that those under 18 years old are forbidden, and the businesses found by the cultural watchdog to accept minors will face fines of 10,000 to 30,000 yuan (US$1,485 to US$4,457).

But in reality, not all bars are registered to be supervised by the cultural watchdog, and not all of them offer alcohol, the deputies said. In Chinese, the "bar" is literally "wine bar."

Law enforcement officers have discovered during spot checks that many bars were not registered as entertainment venues, but as catering or drink and ice-cream services. In this case, the cultural watchdog is not authorized to monitor those businesses or give fines, the deputies said.

Local bars fall into three types: "club bars" which offer alcohol and food with billiard tables or dartboards,  "nightclub bars" which offer alcohol with loud music, and "music bars" which feature piped music and non-alcoholic or low-alcohol drinks.

The deputies thus proposed that other authorities should join hands with the cultural bureau in cracking down on the illegal practice of offering alcohol to minors.

The deputies suggested that a ban on minors should be lifted at bars offering just coffee or tea and that those that sell alcohol to minors should be punished more severely, with the owners of the venues jailed in serious cases.

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