Why do gas stations sell alcohol
They were the last emergency nail when the Bavarian supermarkets closed their doors after 8 p.m. because of the shop closing law: the gas stations. If someone came over spontaneously in the evening, you could at least buy chips, chocolate, cola or beer there. But the nightly shopping at the gas station around the corner is over now.
A new regulation has been in effect in the Free State since June 2012. "Petrol stations without a restaurant permit are only allowed to sell smaller amounts of food and luxury goods to travelers after the shop has closed," says the announcement by the Bavarian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. "Motorists and passengers in a motor vehicle" are considered to be travelers. Cyclists and pedestrians are therefore not travelers, regardless of where they are going. That means: motorists or bikers get beer and wine at the gas station after 8 p.m., pedestrians and cyclists don't even get a coke.
The "smaller amount" that a traveler can buy is also precisely defined: two liters per person, for a drink with up to eight percent alcohol content. That means either two liters of cola or four pints of beer. For drinks between eight and 14 percent, such as prosecco or wine, there is only one liter per person. Only 0.1 liters for schnapps.
"People are very angry," says Günter Friedl three months after the new rules came into force. He is the owner of the Sprint gas station in Munich-Freimann and chairman of the Bavarian gas station association. When he rejects customers at the checkout, they respond with "great misunderstanding," he reports.
In addition, you can't tell whether the customer came by in a car or on foot, complains Friedl. But the Bavarian Ministry of Social Affairs does not accept this argument: "Experience has shown that the number of customers is so low at night that the seller can see by looking out of the gas station window whether a vehicle is at the pump or on the gas station premises can be expected, "they say.
If the tenant is mistaken or does not ask about it, he is threatened with a fine. "The district administration department and the police have strict controls," says Friedl. He himself has never been checked, but he has reports of colleagues who were fined 500 euros. If the violations pile up, it becomes more expensive with each incident.
But the regulation for gas station sales is not that new. Basically, it has been in force since 1996. With the enforcement notes, the indefinite legal term "smaller amounts" has only been specified in accordance with a judgment of the Federal Administrative Court on February 23, 2011, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced.
According to Friedl, the tightened enforcement instructions are "a catastrophe" for the Bavarian gas stations. Bavaria-wide 2400 gas stations are affected. As chairman of the Bavarian petrol station association, he already sees the entire petrol station industry being threatened. Operating a petrol station only pays off with sales from the shop: "A tenant hardly earns anything on petrol, an average of only 0.9 cents per liter."
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