Most Common Offense at the Festival This Year: Serving Alcohol to Minors

The Czech Trade Inspection Authority (ČOI) has most frequently discovered the sale of alcohol to minors during inspections at the 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (MFF). As of Wednesday evening, inspectors conducted sixty inspections, finding violations in thirty-four cases, twenty of which pertained to the sale of alcohol to individuals under eighteen years old.

According to Jan Řezáč, director of the regional inspectorate of ČOI for the Plzeň and Karlovy Vary regions, “Unlike previous years, the most common issue this year was not the failure to adhere to declared measures or weights, or incorrect billing. The most frequent offense was unequivocally the serving and sale of alcoholic beverages to individuals under eighteen years old, which we have identified in twenty cases so far.”

This year, ČOI incorporated young undercover agents into their inspection teams, who ordered alcoholic beverages as part of the control purchases. “In about forty percent of cases, they succeeded without any problems,” said Řezáč. This was immediately followed by actions from inspectors who monitored and documented everything. In two cases, the sale of alcohol to a person under eighteen was found repeatedly.

In addition to selling alcohol to minors, inspectors also identified incorrect billing in twelve cases. The highest overcharge due to non-compliance with the declared weight of served dishes amounted to 31.5 CZK, and 75 CZK was charged for a cover that was not provided. In two instances, unverified measuring instruments were used.

Sellers face fines of up to one million crowns in administrative proceedings. “By Wednesday evening, seven fines were imposed for less serious shortcomings, amounting to a total of twenty-five thousand crowns, and one warning was issued,” stated the head of the inspectors. The remaining twenty-seven cases will be dealt with in administrative proceedings.

Compared to last year, there has been a significant increase in the discovery of violations. While last year, errors were found in 44% of inspections; this year, it stands at 57%. The number of cases involving the serving of alcohol to individuals under eighteen is considered alarming. However, it should be noted that in previous years, inspectors did not have two inspection teams with young undercover agents. ČOI took this step due to the trend of serving alcohol to individuals under eighteen at recent MFF events, as well as information from municipalities and consumers indicating a growing number of such cas